It's been far from a smooth build up for England but that could actually be a help as the usual hype and pressure from the media does not seem to be anywhere near as vocal as in previous tournaments.
Left-back Ashley Cole is one of the foundations of England's defencePICTURE: GETTY IMAGES
The Three Lions qualified easily enough under Fabio Capello and his replacement Roy Hodgson will look to make the team difficult to beat, building from the back and the foundations will be set by Champions League-winning defenders John Terry, Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill.
Joe Hart is a top goalkeeper too so England won't be a pushover, although the two-game ban to Wayne Rooney is an obvious blow with Darren Bent injured.
The quarter-finals is the aim and anything more would be great but once you get to the knockout phase anything is possible as Chelsea supporters will testify.
One of the more difficult teams to read, France could be dark horses in this European Championship under the guidance of Laurent Blanc.
Franck Ribery looks one of the keys to a serious French challengePICTURE: GETTY IMAGES
Les Bleus have recovered from their shocking World Cup exit to produce a strong qualifying performance and they have also claimed a number of eye-catching friendly results with triumphs away to England and Germany as well as a home win over Brazil.
There's certainly not as many star names in the squad as in years gone past but Samir Nasri, Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery have the potential to take France a long way in this competition.
Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Sweden's talismanPICTURE: GETTY IMAGES
Had it not been for the luck of the draw then they may have been forced to go through the play-offs but they are unlikely to take advantage of their good fortune unless Zlatan Ibrahimovic produces the sort of performances he is capable of when playing for club side Milan.
However, the Swedish talisman often gets frustrated at having to play alongside those of less ability in the national team and it will be difficult for them to get out of the group.
The joint-hosts have had a nightmare preparation with three goalkeepers - Oleksandr Shovkovskiy, Oleksandr Rybka and Andriy Dykan - plus former Barcelona defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy all ruled out of the tournament.
The co-hosts will need moments of class from Andrei ShevchenkoPICTURE: GETTY IMAGES
It's left manager Oleg Blokhin with a major headache and far from ideal for a team who are desperate to qualify for the knockout phase and will be left to rely on a couple of old heads to see them through.
Bayern Munich's Anatoliy Tymoschuk is Ukraine's most important player but Andrei Shevchenko, even with his legs going, is still capable of conjuring up the odd moment of class.
However, it is unlikely to be enough to see Ukraine going strong in the latter stages.
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