THE UEFA Nations League is a newly formed competition that should enhance international football across Europe. The general concept is that the best nations compete against each other in a mini-league format, with the chance to earn promotion and relegation between the four tiers.
This system has pitted the likes of England, Spain and Croatia against each other in one of the League A groups whilst Denmark, Wales and Republic of Ireland will do battle in League B. Perfect for betting, there is always a plethora of international football during the mid-season breaks.
A grand total of 55 international sides will compete in the inaugural UEFA Nations League event. The competition will span over two years; the initial group stages phase takes place before a second, elimination format will be held to determine who is promoted, relegated and maintains their status in each League.
In a nutshell, the UEFA Nations League is split into four divisions; with the strongest teams in League A and the weaker sides in League D – according to the UEFA rankings. League A and B are made up of four groups of three teams whilst League C has one group with three teams and three groups of four teams. Finally, League D has four groups of four teams. It is still a work in progress but the UEFA Nations League has potential to be a huge success.
As previously mentioned, League A consists of 12 teams divided into four groups of three. The winners of each group quality for the final phase of the tournament; essentially a semi-final stage.
In Group 1, 2018 World Cup winners France have been matched up with 2014 World Cup winners Germany and 1988 European champions the Netherlands.
Group 2 sees Belgium’s Golden Generation pitted up against Switzerland and Iceland, with Roberto Martinez’s men well fancied to top that particular trio.
The third League A group has Italy, Poland and Portugal matched up together. Punters may have a tough job separating those three nations.
Last but no means least, Gareth Southgate’s England will go up against Spain and Croatia in Group 4. The 2018 World Cup semi-finalists will be looking to avenge their semi-final defeat to Croatia.
Ukraine, Czech Republic and Slovakia go up against each other in Group 1 of this particular sector of the UEFA Nations League.
Meanwhile, 2018 World Cup hosts Russia have been paired up with Turkey and Sweden in one of the toughest groups.
Group 3 will see Bosnia-Herzegovina, Austria and Northern Ireland go up against each other in the round-robin format whilst Denmark, Wales and Republic of Ireland are the fourth and final group in League B.
Scotland, England’s oldest rivals, are in Group 1 alongside Albania and Israel. This is the only three-team group in League C.
Meanwhile, Greece, Hungary, Finland and Estonia will compete for top spot in Group 2 with Bulgaria, Norway, Cyprus and Slovenia battling it out on Group 3. Finally, Serbia, Romania, Montenegro and Lithuania complete the League C line-up in Group 4.
Some of European football’s lesser known nations compete in League D. Georgia, Latvia, Andorra and Kazakhstan go up against each other in Group 1 whilst Belarus, Luxembourg, San Marino and Moldova do battle in Group 2.
Group 3 sees Kosovo, Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands and Malta up against each other and then Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein and Gibraltar make up the fourth and final group in UEFA Nations League D.
The UEFA Nations League is a football event that should increase the excitement of football betting on international tournaments. Friendly matches are now a thing of the past and the UEFA Nations League should bridge the gap between waiting for the World Cup or European Championship.