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Germany in tough group

sports Updated: Dec 03, 2011 23:13 IST

Old rivals Germany and Netherlands were drawn together on Friday in the toughest of the four groups for next year's Euro 2012 soccer finals in Poland and Ukraine. The two former champions will be in Group B along with two other tricky western European nations, Portugal and Denmark.

The Netherlands meet Germany in Kharkiv, Ukraine on June 13 while the Germans play Portugal in Lviv on June 9. The Netherlands take on Portugal at Kharkiv on June 17.

“It is the toughest group. Netherlands and Portugal have world-class players. We can look forward to very interesting duels,” Germany coach Joachim Loew told reporters.

Two other traditional rivals Spain, the world and European champions, and Italy will play in Group C along with Croatia and Ireland. Co-hosts Poland play the opening match on June 8 in Warsaw against Greece in Group A. The other nations in are Czech Republic and Russia. The other joint hosts Ukraine are matched with England, Sweden and France in Group D.