UEFA Nations League Draw

19
Found 24th JanEdited by:"RossD89"
So the draw to this rather convoluted competition has been made. What are your thoughts? Will it make internationals more interesting as it all but eradicates pointless friendlies? Or will it make little difference? Will it help the 'smaller' nations? Or will they still find it difficult? Will it water the Euro Championships Down? How do you think the Home Nations will perform? (results of the draw below).

If you aren't aware of the new competition here is a 'summary' that I swiped from SSN.


What is the UEFA Nations League?

The UEFA Nations League is a new international tournament. England will go up against other European nations in a league format for the chance to compete in the Final Four summer showpiece in 2019, where the winner will be crowned the Nations League champion.

In a bid to improve the quality of international football and reduce the number of meaningless friendlies, UEFA - which has been planning the competition since 2011 - has devised a new format to add excitement and competition to country clashes.


How will it work?

There will be 55 teams involved, split into four leagues (A, B, C and D) based on their UEFA ranking at the end of the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers.

Within those four leagues, teams will be split again into groups, which will be made up of either three or four teams.

Within each league, four teams will be promoted at the end of the cycle, while four teams will be relegated. They will then play at their new level in the next competition, which starts in 2020.

The winners of the four groups in League A will qualify for the Final Four competition.


How the groups have been divided

England are in League A alongside other European heavyweights, but Wales just missed out on some potentially money-spinning games after failing to make it into the top League following Monday's defeat by Republic of Ireland.

They're in League B with the Republic and Northern Ireland, while Scotland are in League C.

  • League A (four groups of three): Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, France, England, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Iceland, Croatia, Netherlands
  • League B (four groups of three): Austria, Wales, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, Republic of Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Turkey
  • League C (one group of three, three groups of four): Hungary, Romania, Scotland, Slovenia, Greece, Serbia, Albania, Norway, Montenegro, Israel, Bulgaria, Finland, Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania
  • League D (four groups of four): Azerbaijan, FYR Macedonia, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Latvia, Faroe Islands, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Malta, Andorra, Kosovo, San Marino, Gibraltar

The draw has now been made with:

England in group A1 along with Spain and Croatia.
Northern Ireland are in group B3 along with Bosnia & Herzogovina and Austria
Wales and Rep. Ireland are in group B4 along with Denmark. and;
Scotland are in group C1 along with Albania and Israel.


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When will the Nations League take place?

The draw for the above group stages takes place on Wednesday in Lausanne at 11am GMT. Ukraine and Russia will not be drawn into the same group, and neither will Armenia and Azerbaijan.

  • Matchday 1: September 6-9, 2018
  • Matchday 2: September 9-11, 2018
  • Matchday 3: October 11-13, 2018
  • Matchday 4: October 14-16, 2018
  • Matchday 5: November 15-17, 2018
  • Matchday 6: November 18-20, 2018
  • Finals: June 5-9, 2019


What is the Final Four?

The Final Four is the climax to the Nations League. It will take place in June 2019 and pit the group winners from League A, B, C and D against each other. There will be a one-game semi-final stage followed by the final.

The winner will be named as Nations League champion.

The Final Four tournament will occur in odd years, meaning that in years when there isn't a World Cup or European Championships, there will be a Nations League winner.


How will the Nations League affect European Qualifiers?

Euro qualifiers for 2020 will commence in March 2019, with double headers in the March, June, September, October and November international breaks.

Teams will be split into five groups of five teams and five groups of six teams. In total, there will be 10 matchdays - the same number as now.

The top two teams from the 10 groups qualify automatically for the Euros, while four more places at the finals will be awarded to play-off winners. Sixteen teams will compete in the play-offs.


Now, here's the interesting bit...

Each Nations League league gets four play-off spots. If the winner of a group has already qualified for the Euros, the next best team which has not qualified goes into the play-offs.

Those sixteen teams will go into four groups, with the top team going to the Euros. The four teams play two one-off semi-finals and one one-off final to determine play-off winners.

So, if one of the Home Nations fails to qualify the traditional way, each league has a path of its own to the finals.

The UEFA Nations League rankings will also determine the composition of draw pots for subsequent European Qualifiers.

  • UEFA EURO 2020 play-off draw: November 22, 2019
  • UEFA EURO 2020 play-offs: March 26-31, 2020

What are the benefits?

"The UEFA Nations League creates more meaningful and competitive matches for teams and a dedicated calendar and structure for national team football," say UEFA, who believe the new format addresses concerns national associations raised about friendlies no longer providing adequate competition.

As well as the appeal of being named National League winner after the Final Four showpiece event for top teams, weaker teams will have better opportunities to qualify for European Championships - the bottom 16 in the rankings are now guaranteed one of the 24 qualifying spots.

Weaker teams will also face teams of a similar level - so there will be fewer thrashings and more meaningful games for fans.


Is this the end of friendlies?

Not completely. There will still be some space in the calendar for friendlies - particularly for the top teams, who are in groups of three within League A and B and the top group in League C.

There will also be room for pre-tournament warm-up games ahead of World Cups and European Championships. But, essentially, the outcome of more international games will matter.


Will the new format increase players' workload?

The Nations League and new Euros qualification process operates within the current international calendar, so there are not increased demands in terms of the number of matches.

In fact, UEFA claims the new product will actually reduce strain on players. That's because there is likely to be less travel and players will be playing at their own level. Players will also go back to their clubs earlier than is currently the case


Sorry about the wall of text....

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Did UEFA hire @splender as a consultant?
19 Comments
Original Poster
I personally think that it will help to breathe new life in to internationals outside of tournament football (albeit this is itself a tournament), but will water down the Euro Championships by giving the 'smaller' nations another route in to a tournament that has usually been one where you have to hit the ground running. That being said, it allows these smaller nations an easier chance to participate in a tournament that they would otherwise unlikely be able to participate in, which is clearly a benefit to the smaller participating nations as it allows their fans to cheer on their nation in a major international competition and possibly attract a younger generation in those nations to get involved in football.

The Jury's out on how it will impact the Euros, but I'm quite interested to see how this new competition will manifest.
Edited by: "RossD89" 24th Jan
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Did UEFA hire @splender as a consultant?
Meaningless friendlies replaced by a meaningless competition. You only have to look who the national manager is to see international football is dead for England.
Original Poster
jimhuf11 m ago

Meaningless friendlies replaced by a meaningless competition.




Possibly, but it will give a competitive edge to the internationals that we will play - against teams at our level who will not put 10 men behind the ball like in so many pointless friendlies we have had in the past. It could also, possibly, represent a genuine opportunity for the likes of England to win something.
RossD899 m ago

Possibly, but it will give a competitive edge to the internationals that …Possibly, but it will give a competitive edge to the internationals that we will play - against teams at our level who will not put 10 men behind the ball like in so many pointless friendlies we have had in the past. It could also, possibly, represent a genuine opportunity for the likes of England to win something.


but its not meaningful at all, its like winning the intertoto cup or any other pre-season cup. (Granted united fans think the charity shield is a trophy these days)
Original Poster
jimhuf38 m ago

but its not meaningful at all, its like winning the intertoto cup or any …but its not meaningful at all, its like winning the intertoto cup or any other pre-season cup.



Maybe, but I'm still interested to see how it turns out. It surely can't be worse than the friendlies it has replaced.
Edited by: "RossD89" 24th Jan
Nice one Ross. Wasn't aware of this Makes sense with less travelling.
Saturn1 h, 21 m ago

Did UEFA hire @splender as a consultant?



I wouldn't say consultant, but purpose needs to be supported by factual purposeful outcomes.
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splender4 m ago

I wouldn't say consultant, but purpose needs to be supported by factual …I wouldn't say consultant, but purpose needs to be supported by factual purposeful outcomes.


Exactly.
jimhuf1 h, 12 m ago

but its not meaningful at all, its like winning the intertoto cup or any …but its not meaningful at all, its like winning the intertoto cup or any other pre-season cup. (Granted united fans think the charity shield is a trophy these days)


33127160-jf9PK.jpg

What is it then? a radar?.
More money in UEFA pockets.
A bit more info
Is the competition a one-off?

No, the next Nations League is due to begin in September 2020, with new divisions based on promotion and relegation, though there is no information at present about how this could affect qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.
.MUFC.53 m ago

[Image] What is it then? a radar?.


Point proven
jimhuf3 m ago

Point proven


That it's a trophy ( Which it is ).

Meaningless, Maybe not exactly a prestigious one but I'm sure if it was offered to any of our rivals they'd take it ;).
Something similar happening in test cricket at last
but with two leagues one of 9 teams and one three hmmmm.....
en.wikipedia.org/wik…hip
shabbird10 h, 14 m ago

Nice one Ross. Wasn't aware of this Makes sense with less …Nice one Ross. Wasn't aware of this Makes sense with less travelling.


Really? Couldn't England just play Spain and Croatia in a friendly and then other European teams, rather than this convoluted tournament with a labyrinthine route to a final that everyone would have forgotten by the time it takes place.
Original Poster
xenophon20 m ago

Really? Couldn't England just play Spain and Croatia in a friendly and …Really? Couldn't England just play Spain and Croatia in a friendly and then other European teams, rather than this convoluted tournament with a labyrinthine route to a final that everyone would have forgotten by the time it takes place.


Of course they could, but those friendlies would be would be completely pointless as they teach nothing, whereas this has a purpose, is competitive and ultimately rewards the winning nation a trophy.
Will they really be competitive? I can't see it myself, the top nations won't. As someone said above, will be just an international version of the intertoto cup. Can't see many football fans taking it seriously.
Original Poster
xenophon9 h, 11 m ago

Will they really be competitive?


I'd like to think so. And to be honest, as an England supporter I would take winning this over finishing bottom of the group in a World Cup and getting knocked out by Iceland in the Euros. It will at least be something to build on.
Edited by: "RossD89" 25th Jan
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