Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Nations League: The last crusade

Bale and his compatriots were in high spirits ahead of the inaugural UEFA Nations League clash Bale and his compatriots were in high spirits ahead of the inaugural UEFA Nations League clash
Domingo Copeland | 07 September, 2018, 08:47

Sport Bild reported last week that UEFA is set to launch a third club competition with 32 teams from 2021, and that the European Club Association (ECA) was one of the driving forces behind the reported changes.

Both sides pushed for a winning goal in the closing stages of the second half, but they were unable to carve out clear cut openings as the encounter ended goalless.

The inaugural Nations League gets underway on Thursday and although UEFA's new tournament, created to eliminate "meaningless" friendlies, has largely been met with groans and scoffs in England fans will soon learn to love the competition.

Plus, the biennial format should be good for business.

"I think everything has been said about this".

Germany, the team France succeeded as World Cup winners, have plenty to prove after a catastrophic group-stage exit that has left Loew fighting to prove he is still the right man for the job.

In practice, what that will probably mean is the four group winners from League D playing off for one spot at the Euros, with a mess of teams from higher up.

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Ultimately neither side could break the deadlock, though, as the Germany were held to a stalemate by the team that took their world title off them this summer, getting the top flight of the UEFA Nations League off to a low-key start.

Teams have been put into four leagues from A-D with other nations that have a similar ranking to them. If the group victor has already qualified, then it will be the next best team from that group; or if all teams in the group have already qualified then of the next highest-ranked side from that league. Instead, it will be found in games like the one between Kazakhstan and Georgia on Thursday, or Romania v Montenegro on Friday.

League C will feature four groups, with each group victor earning promotion.

Three thoughts on Germany and France's 0-0 draw in the UEFA Nations League.

Qualifiers for Euro 2020 will get underway from March 2019. The top two teams in each of these groups will qualify for Euro 2020 - That will account for 20 teams, 10 group winners and 10 group runners-up. The remaining four places in the 24-team lineup will be decided in Nations League playoffs.

Thomas Mueller, an experienced member of Germany's ill-fated squad in Russian Federation, said the sell-out clash in Munich is the ideal opportunity to help the team move on from their World Cup debacle.

Despite being given a tutorial of the newly formed competition by UEFA by Three Lions' boss Gareth Southgate, the England players are still struggling to get their heads around the idea, with research being carried out to understand the rules, as reported by The Telegraph.

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