25th of January 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
The groups of the inaugural edition of the UEFA Nations League have been drawn in Switzerland on Wednesday and England were placed in Group 4 within League A alongside Spain and Croatia. The other groups in League A see France, Germany and the Netherlands compete in Group 1, Iceland, Switzerland and Belgium in Group 2, and Poland, Italy and Portugal in Group 3. The UEFA Nations League is a brand new competition for European nations, the top teams in each group in League A will qualify for the final four. The first group matches will take place in September, while the finals are scheduled for June 2019.
"The whole concept of this tournament is that you play high-quality matches and competitive matches, so that criteria is fulfilled with the group that we're in," England boss Gareth Southgate said after the draw. "In particular Croatia we haven't played for a little while so we're looking forward to that and of course Spain, one of the best teams in the world. It's good to test ourselves in these games. We like the concept of fewer friendlies and the concept of games against high-level teams, I think that's really important."
The competition has four league tiers and teams will get promoted and relegated just like in the national leagues. The UEFA Nations League will also grant teams the opportunity to qualify for the European Championship, as the top two teams in each of the ten groups will qualify for the final tournament. England are 9/4 at Bet365 to win their Nations League group, Spain are 4/6 favourites to win League A Group 4. The Spaniards are also 7/2 favourites to win the whole tournament, Germany are 4/1 to win the inaugural edition and Belgium are 11/2 to claim the trophy.
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Well, I guess it's a reasonable idea for that tournament.
As far as I understand it would decrease the number of the friendly games instead which is a good option and if this tournament could earn you a European Championship spot it would make the stakes a lot higher.
Will see how successful that idea would be when the time comes but on paper sounds reasonable I think.
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