A new international tournament, The Nation’s League starts this week. England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Scotland all have matches during the September international break.
England looks to build on their world cup fourth-place finish. They aim big for the Euros.
Who plays the Nations League?
55 UEFA member countries are involved in the tournament. Mainly it is a replacement for the meaningless friendlies.
When are the matches played?
The tournament starts during the September international break and continues throughout the October and November international break. The finals take place in June 2019.
Four leagues divide the 55 UEFA member countries based on their rankings. They are divided into A, B, C and D leagues with each made up of three or four teams. Each team will play home and away matches.
The teams finishing at the top of each group is promoted to the higher group and the teams finishing last are denoted to the lower league.
Teams winning the four league A groups will play knockout games in June. The games are semifinals, final and third-place play-off to decide the winner of the Nation’s League.
Where will the event occur?
During September and October international break the teams involved will all play their home and away matches. One of the four teams qualified for the finals in June will host the event in June, with the decision to be taken in December.
England is placed in the group four of the top league A with Croatia and Spain.
Welsh, Republic of Ireland are in League B with Denmark. Also in League B Northern Ireland are placed with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Austria in group 3.
Scotland is in the third tier and is placed with Israel and Albania in group one.
Is it replacing the Euro qualifiers?
No. The Euro 2020 will have its qualifying draw at December in Dublin with matches in March and November of the next year.
The top two teams of each group all qualify for the EURO. As for the last four teams, that are to be decided by the Nation’s League.
So can teams get in Euros from Nation’s League?
Yes. The 16 group leaders from the four tiers of the tournament will have play-off in March 2020 to acquire a place in the Euro 2020.
They will play one-off play-off semifinals followed by a final. The four league winners will finally be qualified for the Euros.
If a country has been already qualified for from the qualifiers their place will be transferred to the next highest ranked team from the respective tier.