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Tough Euro Draws For Balkan Teams


Bosnia-Herzegovina's Manchester City star Edin Dzeko and his teammates face a tough test against Portugal.

Bosnia-Herzegovina's Manchester City star Edin Dzeko and his teammates face a tough test against Portugal.

Both Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro have their work cut out for them if they are to progress beyond the qualifying play-offs for the Euro 2012 soccer tournament.

Bosnia arguably have the toughest tie against Euro 2004 finalists Portugal, who boast a host of international stars, including 2008 World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo.

Montenegro have a slightly easier match-up against a Czech Republic team in transition.

Nonetheless, the Euro 1996 finalists should still have enough pedigree to cause the Balkan side a lot of problems.

Croatia also face a tricky play-off against Turkey, who have a formidable home record.

Ireland, however, will fancy their chances against Estonia, who have never qualified for an international tournament.

The play-off matches are scheduled for November 11/12 and November 15. Turkey, Estonia, the Czech Republic, and Bosnia will play their first-leg matches at home.

Already through to the finals, alongside co-hosts Poland and Ukraine, are Spain, Germany, Russia, Italy, France, Holland, Greece, England, Denmark and Sweden.

The finals draw is on December 2 in Kyiv and the tournament runs from June 8 to July 1, 2012 at eight venues.

Euro 2012 Play-Offs

Turkey vs. Croatia

Estonia vs. Republic of Ireland

Czech Republic vs. Montenegro

Bosnia vs. Portugal

compiled from agency reports
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