Low: Germany are Euro group favourites
Germany coach Joachim Low is confident his side will qualify for UEFA EURO 2012, even though they find themselves in one of the most competitive groups after Sunday's draw in Warsaw. The Euro 2008 runners-up will face Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Belgium and Austria in Group A.
"Logistically it is not quite so simple with Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan," Low, whose future is the subject of debate, told the website of the German Football Association. "Otherwise it is a German-speaking group with many German coaches. Obviously Germany will be favourites along with Turkey."
Azerbaijan are coached by Berti Vogts, the man who led Germany to their last major success at Euro '96, while Kazakhstan boss Bernd Storck is also German. "We are happy with the draw," said Vogts. "We will earn a lot of money from the games against Germany so we will be able to build new stadia and invest in youth development.
Meanwhile, Austria coach Dietmar Constantini is looking forward to the alpine battles with Low's side. "It is a terribly hard group for us with Germany and Turkey as the favourites," he said. "The matches between Austria and Germany have a particular attraction to them and we know that from the past."
Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk is also optimistic about his team's chance of progression, although he has put all thoughts of European qualifying on hold until this summer's FIFA World Cup™ is out of the way. Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Moldova and San Marino await the Oranje in Group E.
"It is difficult to look that far ahead, qualifying for the European Championships starts in just over six months," he said. "First we have a World Cup to attend. Having said that, it's good we'll take on Erwin Koeman's Hungary which gives those games an added touch.
"Finland, Sweden and Hungary are the more famous footballing countries, while Moldova and San Marino, on paper at least, are 'lesser' opponents. But you cannot underestimate any opponent. On the other hand, you also shouldn't run away in fear. I'm sure we'll succeed as we usually do."
World champions Italy take on Serbia, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, Estonia and Faroe Islands in Group C - a draw which has been welcomed by coach Marcello Lippi. "Italy have a balanced group with Serbia and Slovenia, both of which will compete in the World Cup," he said. "There is also the benefit of being in a group of six teams. Other groups are more difficult, like that of England."