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HOW THEY QUALIFIED

  GROUP G
GP GD PTS
1 England (Q)       8 5 3 0 12 18
2 Montenegro 8 3 3 2 0 12
3 Switzerland 8 3 2 3 2 11
4 Wales 8 3 0 5 -4 9
5 Bulgaria           8 1 2 5 -10 5


RESULTS TOP SCORERS
Sep 3, 2010: England 4-0 Bulgaria
Sep 7, 2010: Switzerland 1-3 England
Oct 12, 2010: England 0-0 Montenegro
Mar 26, 2011: Wales 0-2 England
Jun 4, 2011: England 2-2 Switzerland
Sep 2, 2011: Bulgaria 0-3 England
Sep 6, 2011: England 1-0 Wales
Oct 7, 2011: Montenegro 2-2 England
3 - Darren Bent, Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young
2 - Adam Johnson,
Frank Lampard
1 - Gary Cahill

An impressive start to the campaign, which included a Jermain Defoe hat-trick against Bulgaria, saw England top Group G after two matches, but hopes of running away with qualification were dented with disappointing draws at home to Montenegro and Switzerland.

However, following a comfortable win in Bulgaria and a narrow victory over Wales, the Three Lions booked their place at Euro 2012 by securing a point - albeit after taking a two-goal lead - in their final group game away to Montenegro, with qualification marred somewhat by Wayne Rooney’s second-half dismissal.

PAST RECORD IN THE EUROS 

1960
Did not enter
1988
Group stage
1964
Did not qualify
1992
Group stage
1968
Third place
1996
Semi-finalists
1972
Did not qualify 2000
Group stage
1976
Did not qualify 2004
Quarter-finalists
1980
Group stage 2008
Did not qualify
1984
Did not qualify 2012
Qualified as group winners

England’s most notable appearance in the European Championships in recent years saw them reach the semi-finals on home soil in 1996, but Gareth Southgate failed to convert his decisive spot-kick as Terry Venables’ men lost out on penalties to Germany.

The Three Lions went on to suffer more heartache from the spot at the hands of Romania in their final group stage match at Euro 2000, before penalties again proved to be England’s downfall four years later, bowing out to Portugal in the quarter-final. In their last campaign, manager Steve McClaren lost his job after failing to secure qualification for Euro 2008.

THE MANAGER | ROY HODGSON


Following Fabio Capello's shock resignation from the role in February after a dispute over John Terry being stripped of the captain's armband by the country's Football Association (FA), Tottenham's Harry Redknapp was the favourite to be named the new coach but it was eventually Roy Hodgson who was appointed to take over from interim replacement Stuart Pearce.

Waiting until May 1 to announce their man, the FA confirmed Hodgson as West Brom allowed him to leave his post at the end of the season. The 64-year-old has plenty of experience having coached the likes of Copenhagen, Fulham, Inter, Liverpool, Finalnd, and Switzerland, but has little time to stamp his authority on the team before Euro 2012 after signing a four-year contract. Nonetheless, he has already made some key decisions like leaving veteran Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand out of the tournament squad.

THE CAPTAIN | STEVEN GERRARD


New boss Hodgson confirmed Steven Gerrard as the squad's captain going into Euro 2012 and it is a choice that surprised few based on the storied career of the Liverpool star, who is closing in on 100 caps for his country and has scored in both the World Cup and European Championship.

Gerrard, who made his debut 12 years ago, may not be the player he once was, but his vast experience and impressive ability to drive forward from midfield and chip in with crucial goals and assists makes him an automatic starter and the ideal player to lead his country as the Three Lions look to put recent disappointments at major tournaments behind them.

THE STAR PLAYER | WAYNE ROONEY


The Manchester United star bounced back from his poor performances at the 2010 World Cup to become the first name on the team sheet for Capello during the qualifying campaign for Euro 2012. The striker, who has failed to score a goal at a major tournament since he broke on to the international stage at Euro 2004, netted three times in seven matches in qualification.

However, Rooney is set to miss the first two group stage games against France and Sweden in Poland and Ukraine after being handed a suspension for a petulant kick on Montenegro's Miodrag Dzudovic during a 2-2 draw with Montenegro in the team's final qualifier.

THE EMERGING TALENT | ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN


Having just signed for Arsenal at the start of the 2011-12 season in a £15 million deal, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a surprise inclusion in England's final 23-man squad just as Theo Walcott was ahead of World Cup 2006, but the winger arguably has even more potential than his club and country team-mate.

The 18-year-old has explosive pace and an understanding of the game that belies his early age. He has already earned many plaudits for his displays for the Under-21 side in the past and coming off the bench he could prove a real ace up the coach's sleeve at Euro 2012.


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