Irish to face champs Spain in Euro group

In the end, it will neither be the Group of Debt nor the Group of Death for Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland team in next summer’s European Championships tournament, but they have a tough task nonetheless. The Republic will face European and World Champions Spain, Italy and Croatia (if it had been Greece in that last slot, even non-soccer fans would eventually have gotten to hear about the Group of Debt). The Group of Death, and there’s always a designated one, is B involving Denmark, who must somehow hope to finish in the top two of a group that also has Germany, Portugal and the Netherlands.

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Group A comprises co-hosts Poland, Greece, Russia and the Czech Republic, while Group D has co-hosts Ukraine, Sweden, France and England.

The fixtures for Ireland’s Group C are: June 10: Spain vs. Italy in Gdansk; Ireland vs. Croatia, in Poznan. June 14: Italy vs. Croatia in Poznan; Ireland vs. Spain in Gdansk. June 18: Croatia vs. Spain in Gdansk; Italy vs. Ireland in Poznan.