UEFA Nations League
New competition offers a lot to play for
It is not often a new international competition comes around, but the UEFA Nations League looks set to stay here. Part replacement for the usual round of friendlies, and with some impact on the big tournaments, this is one competition football fans will have to get their head around.
Uefa has taken all 55 nations under its wing, and divided them into four leagues based on co-efficient rankings as of 11 October 2017. England is in League A, alongside every other top team in Europe. The lowest ranked group is League D, with the corresponding lowest qualifying teams. Think of these groups as divisions, as it will make the rest easier to understand.
The groups (divisions) are then sub-divided into 4 groups (1 to 4) of 3 or 4 teams each. The group teams play each other home and away in order to determine the winner. The top team in each of these groups in Group A will compete for the title of the winner of the UEFA Nations League. The bottom 4 teams in the groups will be demoted from the division to the one below, with the 4 teams winning their groups in the division below will be promoted to the next one up.
With us so far?
This tournament will finish in June 2019, and run alongside qualification for Euro 2020. The Nations League will allow some playoff places for teams who have not qualified through the normal qualification route, so there is something to play for. It is all getting quite complex however.
England is drawn with Spain and World Cup Finalists Croatia. England will host Spain on Saturday in Wembley, for the first match in front of a home crowd after a brilliant World Cup campaign. The match will be shown live on Sky Sports.