Harry Maguire Reveals England Players Are Confused By Nations League
- Author: Julie Sanders Sep 06, 2018,
Sep 06, 2018, 20:42
Between September and November the teams in each league will play each other home and away. The teams are divided into four leagues (A-D) which in turn are split up into four groups of either three or four.
The other 34 nations will play in a qualifying round (four games each) to determine which of the three leagues they will compete in.
France and Germany have been drawn alongside the Netherlands in Group A 1 and the winners of the last two editions of Fifa World Cup will kickstart the tournament. The group winners will be promoted to League A, and the bottom four teams will be relegated to League C. A possible configuration next June will see Kosovo, Armenia, Belarus, and Latvia from League D going head-to-head for a spot at the European Championships, making their play-offs well worth a watch.
What's the selling point here?
Portugal will be Italy's second Nations League opponent on September 10, although the European champions will be without Cristiano Ronaldo, who asked to be left out following his move to Juventus.
But the real political thinking behind this idea comes to light with the certainty that one team from each league is guaranteed a place in Euro 2020.
Thus, Low's team want to show that their bad campaign in Russian Federation was just an exception of an otherwise triumphant period of twelve years under the current manager. It is an attempt to make these fixtures competitive and rewarding for the big guns and minnows alike.
It's no surprise it passed the vote.
The inaugural Nations League gets underway on Thursday and although UEFA's new tournament, created to eliminate "meaningless" friendlies, has largely been met with groans and scoffs in England fans will soon learn to love the competition.
Meanwhile, smaller nations find it hard to arrange friendly games, so Uefa believe they have come up with the ideal solution.
The semifinals, third-place game and final will be played in one nation from June 5-9. If any of the top teams have already qualified via the regular qualification process which is highly likely in League A, the next best team gets the chance to be a part of the playoffs.
The French are in a hard group alongside previous world champions Germany (4/1) and Holland (40/1) whose stock has fallen considerably after failure to qualify for World Cup 2018 and Euro 2016.
"Once again, it's about new UEFA income and payments to participating clubs which - just like in the Champions League and Europa League - will destroy the inner balance of the small leagues", Pangl said.
The Germany vs France match in the UEFA Nations League match will be aired live on Sony Ten 2.
League B includes the likes of Wales, Russia and Republic of Ireland, League C has the likes of Scotland, Greece and Norway, while League D features the lowest-ranked teams, including Gibraltar, Kosovo and Malta.