Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

France vs Germany on opening night of Nations League

France vs Germany on opening night of Nations League

At its heart, the Nations League ensures at least semi-competitive global football that pits teams teams of roughly equivalent ability against each other.

UEFA believes all its member federations are getting something they like.

The North American football region now has its own version, while UEFA also designed a global version for about 220 teams which FIFA already has plans to adopt.

Sport Bild reported last week that UEFA is set to launch a third club competition with 32 teams from 2021, and that the European Club Association (ECA) was one of the driving forces behind the reported changes.

Of course, much like the Europa League, the offer of a qualification spot for the winners (or four winners in the UEFA Nations League's case) gives the tournament a much-needed objective.

"I don't even know if it has sunk in yet to be honest", he said.

England, who host Spain on Saturday before welcoming Switzerland to Leicester for a proper old-school friendly on Tuesday, are in League A (Group 4), while Northern Ireland and Wales are housed in League B (Groups 3 & 4 respectively), and Scotland line up in League C (Group 1).

Who is in England's group and league?

Pro/rel. There will be promotion for the group winners in Leagues B-D and relegation for the last-place group teams in Leagues A-C.

Alisson: I'd be arrogant not to learn from Leicester mistake
When you are playing a team that is challenging for trophies, you have to start with a certain level of intent and intensity. Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson insists he will not make the same mistake again after his gaffe against Leicester .

So if, for instance, Michael O'Neill's side were to win their mini-group then they would be promoted to League A, and then go into the finals tournament as well to be crowned League B champions.

"It gives us a particular status but I don't think this two-star jersey (in recognition of a second World Cup title) will weigh heavily on us".

In theory, each pathway will represent one league and will consist of group-winners.

The UEFA Nations League kicks off tonight amidst a sense of bewilderment among players, fans and media alike and there is little buzz for the European governing body's latest brainchild. "They're still a top team". The remaining four places will be awarded to the winners of the mini-tournament mentioned above.

Qualifiers for Euro 2020 will get underway from March 2019.

The Africa Cup of Nations is moving to the summer and to a 24-team format.

The major rationale is that most of these teams are expected to campaign in the Champions League which is more prestigious than the Europa League.

Playoffs will be for teams that failed to earn a direct Euro 2020 entry through the qualifying groups. Teams that miss out on qualification through that route, can make it to the final four spots on the basis of their positions in their respective group i.e., if they are the highest placed side in their group, they will get a spot in the Euros.

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