Qualification is done and dusted for the most interesting tournament outside of the World Cup. Time to start flapping our collective (and virtual) pie holes in anticipation. Host Nation: Poland and Ukraine When: June - July 2012 Who: Sixteen Teams have qualified The Teams Ukraine Rank: 58 Odds: 40/1 Held Germany to a 3-3 draw in their recent friendly but looked very vulnerable once the Krauts decided to stopping fucking around. Poland Rank: 64 Odds: 50/1 I know little about them and haven't seem them play recently. Spain Rank: 1 Odds: 5/2 World and European Champions, breezed through their qualifications but seem to turn-off for friendlies. England beat them 1-0 (for pity's sake) and they drew with Costa Rica. But always seem to get it up when it counts. Stylistically beautiful (imho) their biggest problem is that Lionel Messi is Argentinian and can't play for them. Torres is a shadow of his 2008 self (oh, how Abramovich must be cursing) and they need Villa to find his mojo. Xavi's getting old too. Holland Rank: 2 Odds: 11/2 Another team that breezed qualifying (lost one game) and scored a lot of goals. Did get hammered by Germany 3-0 in the most recent friendly. Still have the stink of a bad World Cup final against Spain which means they won't necessarily be the peoples favorites. If Van Persie is fit and Sneijder can find his form again they'll make a run at the title. Germany Rank: 3 Odds: 7/2 The surprise of the WC, they're even better now and Oesil is becoming a world class creative force. At full strength a formidable team which have great attacking flair. If they have a problem it's in defense (a very un-German weakness). I still don't think they can beat a Spanish team playing at its peak but we may have already passed that. Italy Rank: 6 Odds: 11/1 Absolute crap. A team that had the good fortune of a complete French meltdown to take the spotlight from their performance at the last WC. Still rebuilding and by all rights shouldn't make it into the knockout stage. Which means they'll go all the way and win the damn thing. Tend to do better at the WC than the Euro's they're still a formidable tournament team. England Rank: 7 Odds: 10/1 Also qualified easily while exciting no-one. The great British hype machine will be grinding into operation in the next few months which guarantees they'll be knocked out by Ukraine in the quarters on Penalties. Bizarrely they bear Spain 1-0 last week in a friendly by playing like Switzerland. Their best player, Wayne Rooney, has a ban for the three opening matches of the tournament. It will be interesting to see what Capello does if England win all three. Croatia Rank: 12 Odds 40/1 Other than Luka Modric I don't know much about this team. They spanked Turkey 3-0 to qualify and their striker Ivica Olic of Bayern Munich has good form. Could be the dark horse. I'll post the second eight tomorrow.