We look ahead to the inaugural UEFA Nations League where countries can land a place at the 2020 European Championships
The UEFA Nations League might still be on the horizon right now, although the 2018-19 tournament starts in less than a year and will feature teams from all 55 member associations of UEFA.
Naturally, this includes all the home nations such as England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. These countries will compete against teams with a similar ranking to them and will effectively replace the meaningless friendly matches that are generally quite boring.
There will also be some excellent online betting opportunities when it comes to the UEFA Nations League, including In-Play betting and Cash Out possibilities.
When will the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League take place?
The Group Stage of the UEFA Nations League will take place between September – November 2018, while the Nations League Finals will occur in June 2019.
How does it work?
The 55 UEFA national teams will be divided into four Leagues.
League A will have 12 teams
League B will have 12 teams
League C will have 15 teams
League D will have 16 teams
The teams will be divided according to their UEFA coefficients after the World Cup 2018 qualifiers have been played.
Therefore, League A will consist of the top 12 ranked UEFA members, which could be as follows:
There will be 4 Groups in League A, with each Group consisting of a team from each pot. So the Groups could look like this:
Each team will play the other teams in their group home and away. So using this example, England would play Germany and Poland at Wembley, while also playing matches in Germany and Poland. There will be double match days taking place in September, October and November.
When it comes to League A, teams compete to become the UEFA Nations League champions. The four group winners of League A qualify for the Nations League finals.
For example, Spain, England, Italy and Germany might finish top of their group. They would then be in a knockout competition in June 2019 to determine the eventual winner.
Teams in League A, B, C and D will also compete for promotion (with the exception of A) and relegation (with the exception of D). For each division, the four group winners will be promoted and the four teams finishing bottom of the groups will be relegated.
How do teams qualify for Euro 2020?
The 2018-19 Nations League provides teams with a chance to qualify for Euro 2020. That is in addition to the main qualifying process which begins in March 2019.
Only 20 of the 24 spots at Euro 2020 will be determined by the main qualifying process, leaving 4 spots up for grabs. Each Nations League division is given one of the four spots. Four teams from each division who haven’t already qualified for Euro 2020 will compete in the play-offs in March 2020. It means that at least one team from each Nations League division will qualify for the European Championship finals.