Warsaw, June 7 (IANS) Co-hosts Poland play 2004 champions Greece here Friday to kick-off the Euro 2012 football championship. However, the first eye-catching match will be between three times champions Germany and 2004 runners-up Portugal Sunday.
From Group A, the Czech Republic and Russia should progress but will have to watch out for Poland, who could spring a surprise.
Group B has been tipped to be the ‘group of death’ with three former champions in it. Germany and world cup runners-up Netherlands will be favourites but Portugal and Denmark cannot be discounted.
Defending Europe and world champions Spain are the favourites to progress from Group C. Italy’s poor performance in the warm-ups leading to the tournament has marred their chances while Croatia and the Republic of Ireland will be the dark horses.
Group D sees the other co-hosts Ukraine pitting themselves against giants of European football England and France while Sweden could be the surprise package.
The Euro Groups and fixtures, the top two teams from each group advance to the quarter-finals.
Group A: Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Russia
Group B: Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal
Group C: Croatia, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Spain
Group D: England, France, Sweden, Ukraine
Day Date Team Time (IST) Group
Fri June 8 Poland vs Greece (21:30) A
Sat June 9 Russia vs Czech Republic (00:15) A
Sat June 9 Netherlands vs Denmark (21:30) B
Sun June 10 Germany vs Portugal (00:15) B
Sun June 10 Spain vs Italy (21:30) C
Mon June 11 Rep.Ireland vs Croatia (00:15) C
Mon June 11 France vs England (21:30) D
Tue June 12 Ukraine vs Sweden (00:15) D
Tue June 12 Greece vs Czech Republic (21:30) A
Wed June 13 Poland vs Russia (00:15) A
Wed June 13 Denmark vs Portugal (21:30) B
Thu June 14 Netherlands vs Germany (00:15) B
Thu June 14 Italy vs Croatia (21:30) C
Fri June 15 Spain vs Rep.Ireland (00:15) C
Fri June 15 Sweden vs England (21:30) D
Sat June 16 Ukraine vs France (00:15) D
Sun June 16 Greece vs Russia (00:15) A
Sun June 16 Czech Republic vs Poland (00:15) A
Mon June 17 Portugal vs Netherlands (00:15) B
Mon June 17 Denmark vs Germany (00:15) B
Tue June 18 Croatia vs Spain (00:15) C
Tue June 18 Italy vs Rep.Ireland (00:15) C
Wed June 19 Sweden vs France (00:15) D
Wed June 19 England vs Ukarine (00:15) D
Thursday June 21 (00:15)
Winner Group A vs Runner-up Group B
Friday June 22 (00:15)
Winner Group B vs Runner-up Group A
Saturday June 23 (00:15)
Winner Group C vs Runner-up Group D
Sunday June 24 (00:15)
Winner Group D vs Runner-up Group C
Wednesday June 27 (00:15)
Thursday June 28 (00:15)
Sunday July 1 (00:15)