No easy ride for England at Euros
England may have dodged the most dangerous group of all at the 2012 European Championship draw in Kiev's Palace of Arts - but a glance at the opponents they must face in Ukraine will act as an instant shield against complacency.
The time-honoured "Group of Death" next summer will be that containing Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Portugal - with Republic of Ireland also handed a tough assignment against Spain, Italy and Croatia.
It is one of the beauties of the Euros that there is little time for any team to get their eye in, so England coach Fabio Capello will only have felt slight relief at being drawn in Group D with co-hosts Ukraine, Sweden and France.
None make a compelling case to be ranked among the firm favourites for Euro 2012, but all will feel confident of making England's route to the quarter-finals as treacherous as possible.
England must also overcome the logistical problems of basing themselves in Krakow in Poland while playing all their group matches in Ukraine, with the first game against France in Donetsk on 11 June, Sweden in Kiev four days later and then finishing off against the co-hosts back in Donetsk on 19 June.
The Football Association laid meticulous plans for such an eventuality and although Capello insisted straight after the draw that England will not abandon their Polish base, the Three Lions' supporters face arduous journeys across Ukraine.
The initial reaction of optimism about England's ambitions was partly prompted by avoiding the two toughest groups. Capello can be confident but history tells us there is a real warning already attached to their campaign.
Irrespective of the absence of Wayne Rooney, England's finest player, through suspension, each opponent will believe they have realistic chances of seriously troubling Capello's side.
France - rebuilding under Laurent Blanc after the unqualified fiasco of the World Cup in South Africa - are unbeaten in their last five games against England, winning four of them. It was only in November last year that France's 2-1 win at Wembley did little justice to their superiority.
Sweden are old and difficult adversaries. England's recent Wembley win was their first against them since 1968 and no matter how pedestrian they looked on that night the game will be raised in the competitive environment of Euro 2012.
Ukraine may be down at 55 in the Fifa rankings but any meeting with co-hosts is a guarantee of atmosphere and hostility. Oleg Blokhin's team will be lifted by the home crowd, no matter how lowly they stand.
Stellar names are in short supply but they have an outstanding young talent in Dynamo Kiev's Andrey Yarmolenko, who is their big hope with ageing legend Andrey Shevchenko troubled by injury.
Capello's first competitive defeat was against Ukraine - he will hope this game is not his last as he prepares to leave his post.
Throw in England's previous trouble with hosts, losing to Italy in 1980, Sweden in 1992 and on penalties to Portugal in 2004 and once again it proves any premature triumphalism can be dismissed instantly.
And even if England do manage to navigate a way out, the quarter-final will pit them against Spain, Italy, the Republic of Ireland or Croatia to underscore the ever-present difficulties lurking in the Euros.
Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is one of the old masters of the coaching world and the great man will relish plotting a way past world and European champions Spain, his native country Italy and Croatia.
They will be outsiders in their group but, backed by the green army that will descend on Euro 2012, no-one should dismiss their chances. They have been carried along on that wave of support and passion before.
So the prospect of a quarter-final meeting between England and Republic is on the agenda - but much will need to happen and tough opponents will need to be overcome before that happens.