Well, now that the draw has been made, time to start analyzing the groups. In each team's analysis I will note results in OFFICIAL matches (i.e. qualifiers and WC 2010) since Euro 2008 but not give any weight to results in friendlies. Group C: Spain, Italy, Croatia, Ireland SPAIN: Current World Cup and European champions, so almost certain to advance, but one suspects they can be beaten. Switerland pulled it off at WC 2010, the USA at the 2009 Confederations Cup, and Italy held them to a draw in the Euro 2008 quarterfinals before losing on PK's. Also note that despite all their beautiful passing, they seem to have trouble actually getting the ball in the net, having scored only seven goals in seven matches at WC 2010, with all six of their victories being by excatly one goal. Qualified quite comfortably from a weak group for Euro 2012, but the fact that they managed to concede two goals to Lithuania and three to Scotland suggest that age may be finally starting to eat away at their central defense, where Carlos Puyol certainly isn't getting any younger. Should make it out of the group without too much difficulty, but I'd be suprised if they won the whole tournament again. ITALY: A mystery wrapped inside a riddle, wrapped inside an enigma. Suprisingly crashed out of an easy WC 2010 group without a win, but then cruised through Euro 2012 qualifying. However, injuries to Cassano and Rossi will almost certainly keep them out of Euro 2012 and rob the Italians of some of their firepower, and it won't help that for the first time in several generations the team lacks a true world-class player. Also note that while they qualified quite comfortably, their goal difference in away matches (+3), was greatly inferior that of their home matches (+15), suggesting that much like at WC 2010, they will have difficulty winning on foreign soil. CROATIA: Finished 2nd in their qualifying group behind Greece, before suprisingly demolishing Turkey 3-0 in the playoffs by virtue of a 3-0 first leg win in Istanbul. Failed to qualify for WC 2010 from a tough qualifying group featuring England (1-4, 1-5) and Ukraine (2-2, 0-0), suggesting that they are a level below the top teams right now. Certainly capable of getting a result against either Italy or Ireland, but unlikely to challenge Spain for top spot in the group. IRELAND: Certain to be a favorite of neutrals, the Irish have as good a shot as any at finishing second in the group. Qualified 2nd in therir group behind Russia, before easing past Estonia 5-1 in the playoffs. Form tends to be inconsistent, with qualifying featuring a home loss to Russia and a home draw to Slovakia as well as away draws with the same two countries, which suggest that they will be tough to beat. However, it also has to be worrisome that they were likewise unable to record a single victory against the other two decent sides in their qualifying group (Russia and Slovakia), with all their wins coming against their group's minnows. CONCLUSION: Spain to win the group, with a wide-open race among three flawed teams for the second spot.