Euro draw pits giants together

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The draw, which took place in Lucerne, was to decide the four groups of four teams that would contest the finals to be held in Switzerland and Austria from June 7 TO June 29 next year.

Group C looks by far the most challenging. World Champions Italy have been drawn with World Cup finalists France and the Netherlands, one of the pre-tournament favourites.

And that trio would do well to take not of the fourth team in the group, Romania, who finished top of their qualifying pool, ahead of the Netherlands.

Group A includes co-hosts Switzerland, Portugal, Czech Republic and Turkey, while Group B features co-hosts Austria, arch-rivals Germany, Poland and Croatia, conquerors of England.

Group D is perhaps the most open one, with defending champions Greece pitted with Sweden, Spain and Russia.

The top two teams in each group advance to the quarterfinal stage, after which the competition is played on a knockout format.

Group ASwitzerlandCzech Republic PortugalTurkey

Group B AustriaCroatiaGermanyPoland

Group CHollandItalyRomaniaFrance

Group D GreeceSwedenSpainRussia