Group C

Group C - Spain, Italy, Croatia, Republic of Ireland

SPAIN - The European and World champions will arrive at the 2012 tournament as the favourites to once again lift the trophy. An unmatchable squad for depth, skill and talent will provide a team unbeatable if they perform to their potential. However, a long season for many of the squad could provide tired legs and Real Madrid and Barcelona's domestic successes could come back to haunt the team in red.

Fifa Ranking - 1

Players to Watch - Fernando Llorente, Jesus Navas, Jordi Alba

VERDICT - Runners-up

ITALY - After their abysmal world cup showing the former world champions will be looking to seek salvation from their passionate fans. This years tournament offers an Italy squad that mixes experience, youth and potentially an upset. The inaugural champions could be the tournaments dark horse alongside France.

Fifa Ranking - 12

Players to Watch - Antonio Nocerino, Domenico Criscito, Sebastian Giovinco

VERDICT - Quarter Finals

CROATIA - The 2008 quarter finalists will find it tough to qualify in yet another tough group at this years championships. Nevertheless, the Croatians have built a solid squad under the workmanship of Slaven Bilic and  could sneak through the group if they can get a result off Italy. It seems unlikely but, if the European Championships have taught us anything it is to not bet against anyone.

Fifa Ranking - 8

Players to Watch - Luka Modric, Ivica Olic, Ivan Rakitic

VERDICT - Group Stage

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND - The 2012 championships is Ireland's first international tournament since 2002 and any success will be very difficult to ascertain. Being placed in the second group of death does not to them any favours but they boast another vastly experienced squad and could gather a few crucial results.

Fifa Ranking - 18

Players to Watch - Kevin Doyle, Aiden McGeady,  James Mclean

VERDICT - Group Stage


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