‘England an easy draw without Rooney’

Three Lions will be a tame proposition at Euro 2012, claims sports pundit

Normally itÂ’s the English media who speculate about dream groups – the teams they feel would be the easiest opponents for their national side in major football championships. But this time around, heading into the Euro 2012 draw on Friday December 2, the tables have been reversed, with Denmark among the nations hoping they end up in the same group as England.  

“England are not very good,” Morten Bruun, a former international player and commentator on channel K6, told DR Sport. “They are good at defending, but it would be a dream scenario for Denmark to face an English team without Wayne Rooney, who in my opinion is England’s best striker by a very large margin.”

Rooney will miss the entire group stage after being suspended for three international matches for violent conduct in his countryÂ’s final Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro in October.

Although an appeal will be heard by UEFA on December 9 – the player Rooney kicked has personally written a letter supporting leniency – it doesn’t look good for the Manchester United striker.

England is one of four second seeds in the draw along with Russia, Germany and Italy, and even with Rooney, Bruun would prefer England to the other three.

“When you look at the second seeds, you might think Russia would be the best choice,” he said. “But if we draw Russia and end up playing our games in Ukraine, we’re pretty much the away team.”

Nevertheless, Denmark – one of the fourth seeds alongside France, Ireland and Czech Republic – will want to land one of the hosts, Poland or Ukraine – instead of Spain or the Netherlands.

National coach Morten Olsen has criticised UEFA for making the hosts top seeds. Speaking to Jyllands-Posten newspaper, he felt it had thrown the seeding system out of sync.

The third seeds, meanwhile, are Croatia, Greece, Sweden and Portugal – of which Bruun would prefer Sweden.

Euro 2012 will be played from June 8 until July 1, and will be the last 16-team European Championship, as from 2016 it will feature 24 sides.





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