Friday, 20 October, 2017

Croatia in Elite Group of New UEFA Nations League Competition

Image Ryan Byrne  INPHO Image Ryan Byrne INPHO
Clarence Duncan | 12 October, 2017, 00:38

Wales drop into a 12-strong League B which also includes Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, so all three teams could meet when further group draws are made in January, while Scotland are in Group C.

The top division is 12 teams strong and will be split into four groups of three, with the winners playing the Nations League finals in June 2019 to decide an overall victor.

The competition will run alongside qualification for Euro 2020 and is an attempt by Uefa to revive worldwide football by providing teams with more competitive fixtures against teams of a similar standard.

That means missing out on the potential for games against Germany, Italy, Spain and England, who are among the dozen teams to qualify for League A.

The competition, which UEFA says will replace most worldwide friendlies, will be played in September, October and November 2018, with a group stage draw scheduled for next January.

It will also provide four qualifying spots for the tournament.

"How teams perform in the Nations League will be used to determine which pots they will be placed in for future European qualifiers for the Euros and the World Cup", the Sun said.

Euro 2020 qualifying will then take place between March and November 2019, with the Uefa Nations League Finals for the top four teams in June 2019. Division "B" will be divided into four groups of three teams.

The Republic of Ireland are in League B along with Austria, Wales, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic and Turkey.

Countries will be split into four groups of three, with each team facing each other at home and away.

Today it was announced which teams will feature in the four leagues. The winners of each group will be promoted to league above and the losers will be relegated.

The third pot consists of Montenegro, Israel, Bulgaria and Finland, while the final pot has just three sides - Cyprus, Estonia and Lithuania.

For example, with League D guaranteed a representative, Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Belarus and Latvia are the favourites to battle it out over a series of one-off contests to join, but not necessarily be competitive in, the finals jamboree. It concludes with the Final Four tournament in the summer of 2019.

This continues accordingly until each of the groups have four teams in the play-offs.

But, for fairness, any team that wins their Nations League group will not be "promoted" into a play-off in a league above their own.

The qualification for Euro 2020 will now now run from March to November 2019, with Dublin hosting the Group draw on 2 December 2018.

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