So it’s the final group match of the UEFA Nations League tonight. What happens next?
With the UEFA Nations League only in its second edition, a lot of casual fans are wondering what actually is it? And how does it all work?
The UEFA Nations League was created as a new competitive international football competition so that on international breaks, countries could avoid “meaningless” friendlies in the words of UEFA.
There are four leagues split by their position in the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League Access List which ranks teams based on their performance in the 2018/19 UEFA Nations League. The make-up of each league is:
League A: rank 1-16 with 4 groups of 4 teams
League B: rank 17-32 with 4 groups of 4 teams
League C: rank 33-48 with 4 groups of 4 teams
League D: rank 49-55 with one group of 4 teams and one group of 3 teams
The winners of each group in League A will qualify for the UEFA Nations League Finals which consists of semi-finals, a third place game and a final. Whereas the winners in B, C and D will gain promotion. Additionally, those who finish bottom in A and B will be relegated. In League C, there will be a two-leg playoff between the bottom team in each group to determine who is relegated.
The final week of group matches is this week. This will determine who gets promoted and relegated. But more importantly, it will also determine which four teams will progress to the Finals. With only one game to go, below we breakdown which teams are still able to top their group.
Group 1 is the only group where there are still three teams able to top the group. Italy has its fate in its own hands. A win away to Bosnia will clinch their spot at the top of the table. While Poland and Netherlands can still top the group but will need to have positive results themselves as well as seeing Italy being upset by Bosnia.
Tenner prediction: Italy
After beating England last time out, Belgium have just about won Group 2. However, they will still need to get a result against Denmark to secure top spot. With an upset win, Denmark could jump Belgium and take first spot. Iceland have already locked in relegation recording 5 losses from 5 games this year.
Tenner prediction: Belgium
France remain unbeaten in their five games and have wrapped up top spot in their group. Portugal, the current holders of the Nations League, were eliminated from contention after losing to France, as their head-to-head record with the French cannot be overcome.
Tenner prediction: France
It’s a two horse race in Group 4 between two powerhouse European football nations - Germany and Spain. Spain must win if they want to top the group while a draw will give Germany enough points to top the group.
Tenner prediction: Germany
Although this is the last week of the group stage, don’t get too excited for the Finals - they are scheduled for October 2021.
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