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mikeyp102

UEFA Nations League 2019

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So a so a new format for international football. Have to say it's all very confusing. They don't like doing things the easy way do they? 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nations League: Wales beaten to spot in league A by Netherlands

 

 

Wales players react at full-time in their defeat to Republic or Ireland
Wales lost 1-0 to Republic of Ireland on Monday

Wales have missed out on a place in the top tier of Uefa's new Nations League tournament after losing their final World Cup qualifier.

The Nations League sees the 55 European national teams divided into four pots dependent on their rankings, with the top 12 going into League A.

The Republic of Ireland, who beat Wales to get into the World Cup play-off, are also in League B with Northern Ireland.

England are in League A with Scotland in League C.

Netherlands' 2-0 win over Sweden in their final game in World Cup qualifying Group D took them above Wales, into 12th place in Uefa's co-efficient rankings, to claim the final place in League A.

But what is the Nations League? How does it work? And what's the point of it?

Uefa say it "creates more meaningful and competitive matches for teams and a dedicated calendar and structure for national team football".

  • The competition, which starts in September 2018, will provide four qualifying spots for Euro 2020 and will determine the composition of the draw pots for the subsequent Euro 2020 qualifiers.
  • By virtue of the format, lower-tier countries - the bottom 16 in the rankings - are now guaranteed one of the 24 qualifying slots for the European Championship finals.
  • There will also be promotion and relegation between divisions.
  • Each of the four tiers A, B, C and D will contain four groups of three or four teams, with these decided in a draw on Wednesday, 24 January 2018 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Uefa Nations League composition
League A League B League C League D
Germany Austria Hungary Azerbaijan
Portugal Wales Romania Macedonia
Belgium Russia Scotland Belarus
Spain Slovakia Slovenia Georgia
France Sweden Greece Armenia
England Ukraine Serbia Latvia
Switzerland Republic of Ireland Albania Faroe Islands
Italy Bosnia and Herzegovina Norway Luxembourg
Poland Northern Ireland Montenegro Kazakhstan
Iceland Denmark Israel Moldova
Croatia Czech Republic Bulgaria Liechtenstein
Netherlands Turkey Finland Malta
    Cyprus Andorra
    Estonia Kosovo
    Lithuania San Marino
      Gibraltar

The format of the Nations League

  • The 55 European national teams have been divided into four leagues based on Uefa's national association coefficient rankings on 11 October, 2017.
  • Leagues A and B, the top two divisions, will consist of four groups of three teams.
  • League C will comprise one group of three teams and three groups of four sides, while League D will be made up of four groups of four teams.
  • The draw for the first phase Nations League will take place in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 24 January, 2018.
  • In each league, four group winners are promoted (or play in the Nations League Finals, see below) and four teams are relegated for the next competition to be played in 2020.
  • The overall Nations League rankings will determine the composition of the draw pots for the subsequent European qualifiers (European Championship or World Cup).
  • The Nations League will also provide four teams which will contest play-offs in March 2020 (see below) to qualify for Euro 2020.
 

When will the Nations League take place?

  • The Nations League group games will be held over six matchdays, during the 'double-headers' in September, October and November 2018. 
  • The winners of the four groups in League A will contest the Nations League Finals competition in June 2019.
  • The knockout Nations League Finals (semi-finals, third-place match and final) will be hosted by one of the four countries, appointed by the Uefa Executive Committee in December 2018.

How will the Nations League affect qualifiers?

  • The top two in each of the 10 qualifying groups for Euro 2020 will qualify automatically. There will be five groups of five teams and five groups of six teams.
  • The remaining four of the 24 places for Euro 2020 will go to play-off winners, comprised of the 16 group winners of the Nations League.
 
  • The Euro 2020 qualifying draw will be made after the completion of the UEFA Nations League and allow for the four UEFA Nations League Finals participants to be drawn into groups of five teams.
  • The Euro 2020 qualifiers start in March 2019. There will be two matchdays in each of March, June, September, October and November 2019. 
  • If a group winner has already qualified via the European qualifiers, then their spot will go to the next best-ranked team in their league. 
  • If a league does not have four teams to compete, the remaining slots are allocated to teams from another league, according to the overall Uefa Nations League ranking. 
  • Each league will have a path of its own and each path will feature two single-leg semi-finals and one single-leg final. The winner of each path will win a place at Euro 2020.

UEFA Nations League calendar

Group stage draw: 24 January 2018

Matchday 1: 6-8 September 2018

Matchday 2: 9-11 September 2018

Matchday 3: 11-13 October 2018

Matchday 4: 14-16 October 2018

Matchday 5: 15-17 November 2018

Matchday 6: 18-20 November 2018

Finals draw: early December 2018

Finals: 5-9 June 2019

Euro 2020 play-off draw: 22 November 2019

Euro 2020 play-offs: 26-31 March 2020

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it could be fun and interesting instead of boring friendlies which it will mainly replace. Just a pity UEFA made another confusing situation 

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So how many times will I have to read through it exactly before I know wtf it means? :D

And I love posting long winded boring stuff eh?! :)

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I don't actually hate the concept of international 'divisions', I just wish it didn't take a PHD to understand all that. 

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It's great for the minnows. Of those in group d, one team is guaranteed to qualify. In each of their four groups one of the four will stand a real chance of getting to the euros. Imagine a group of Liechtenstein San Marino Gibraltar and Kosovo. It'll give those countries matches of real significance more than national pride and should improve the competitiveness and therefore quality of those teams. 

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 It'll also mean that if teams have no chance of qualification at one point they'll try their best to get relegated to the lower division where they might stand a chance. A race to the bottom. Like Montenegro could sacrifice this year and then roflstomp their way to the euros the next time from group 4

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I'm behind something like this. In fact I've been backing similar ideas for years to help the minnows of European football.

I stand by the idea that more competitive games against teams of a lower standard will be much more beneficial for teams like san Marino as opposed to getting spanked 13-0 by Germany.

That being said, I don't really understand this format so can't really say if I think it's a good solution or not!

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The best way to get qualified for the Euro's is to deliberately get yourself relegated into League D which makes the whole thing a bit of a farce. 

Quote

 In fact I've been backing similar ideas for years to help the minnows of European football.

The best idea for those teams is to have a pre-qualifying where they playoff to get a spot in the group stages proper. It won't happen of course because San Marino have as much voting power as England or Germany. Also for reasons of population those small countries are never going to get better no matter what they do. The simply will never have the numbers to make up a half decent 11. 

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I read some wag earlier (sorry, can't remember where) pointing out that England shouldn't have sacked Allardyce given they're going to be in a relegation battle. 

  • Haha 1

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Still trying to figure this one out. Putting the tournament aside and focusing on what it means for Euro 2020 qualification though.

Quote

Qualifying for UEFA EURO 2020

Qualifying for UEFA EURO 2020 remains largely the same (with 24 finalists in all), although the European Qualifiers will now begin in the March after a major tournament instead of immediately in September (i.e. March 2019 in this case). No team will gain automatic qualification as hosts (there are 13 host nations in all).

Qualifying group stage (20 teams qualify)
The teams will be split into ten groups of five or six, and the top two from each group will qualify for the final tournament, determining the first 20 places.

http://www.uefa.com/uefanationsleague/news/newsid=2501767.html#/

So nothing too new there. The same page has this info about the play offs though, which is the bit that's weird.

Quote

Play-offs (4 teams qualify)
The last four EURO places will be won through the European Qualifiers play-offs, which will be contested by the 16 UEFA Nations League group winners (i.e. the four group winners in each of the four divisions).

  • Each league will have a path of its own and each path will feature two single-leg semi-finals and one single-leg final.  The winner of each path will win a ticket to UEFA EURO 2020.

  • If a UEFA Nations League group winner has already qualified via the European Qualifiers, then their spot will go to the next best-ranked team in their league. If a league does not have four teams to compete, the remaining slots are allocated to teams from another league, according to the overall UEFA Nations League rankings.

So basically, What stands out to me is if someone in the top 12 UEFA teams fails to get into the top 2 of their group and qualify they will end up with a place in the play offs if they won the previous nations league group or the other teams in that group all qualified (highly likely) meaning they are the only ones left to be in the play offs. Ideal for someone like Holland or Wales right now. But in my eyes making Euro qualification pretty pointless and giving a back door for the big teams.

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so what UEFA are saying is their members cant have money spinning friendlies vs south american teams they have to have money spinning friendlies vs other UEFA members and hand over some of that cash to them...

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This is my understanding:

Twenty teams qualify from the qualification stages. Top two in each group of four. There are ten groups. Twenty teams. Four still unaccounted for in the EUROs which is 24 teams.

Separate to that, there is this nations cup thing. One team qualifies from each League A-D. Four teams. That means that a team from D will qualify for the Euros. In order to determine who from each League A-D gets to go to the Euros, they split the leagues A-D into groups within themselves. They round robin, and whoever comes out on top of each group - four groups - goes into a semi final. The winner of the eventual final gets into the Euros.

For instance. The Faroe Islands play their qualification campaign. They get hockied and are not getting through. Meanwhile, they've been playing in their group within League D and doing quite well. They win their group and are now in the Semis. They play the winner of another group let's say Moldova. And they beat them. Then they're in a final, against another team from League D who won their group and won their semi final. Let's say Macedonia. They beat Macedonia and have now qualified for the tournament. 

It's possible that everyone in League A will get through to the tournament by means of the qualification stage and if they do, then their spot will go to Group B, meaning that both the finalists from Group B will get into the  tournament proper. 

The concern I would have is that a middle of the road team like Montenegro in League C would play a couple of games in the qualification group, and do terrible, then play a couple of games in the Nations Cup League C and do terrible, and decide that they'd much rather play down in League D against the Faroes, so they intentionally lose all their other games in order to get relegated. Now then though Lithuania see what they're up to, and they decide they want to get relegated too. So they try to lose their games by even more than the Montenegrins, leading to pandemonium.

Edited by YLN

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1 hour ago, YLN said:

The concern I would have is that a middle of the road team like Montenegro in League C would play a couple of games in the qualification group, and do terrible, then play a couple of games in the Nations Cup League C and do terrible, and decide that they'd much rather play down in League D against the Faroes, so they intentionally lose all their other games in order to get relegated. Now then though Lithuania see what they're up to, and they decide they want to get relegated too. So they try to lose their games by even more than the Montenegrins, leading to pandemonium.

This is definitely a real concern; I don't really know why this wouldn't happen. 

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I prefer it when England are just a worldwide embarrassment every 2 years tbfh.

We are going to get dicked. Get in Pulis to save some face!

 

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It's the phrase "Each league will have a path of it's own". Bit vague imo. So the 4 Group D (i.e the faroe islands etc) teams that win their groups will only play other Group D teams in any play offs?

OK, I had assumed the play offs would be seeded like now whereas a group D team is now guaranteed to be at the new expanded tournament.

If the top 20 teams all qualify in the 20 places in qualifying proper, (So all of group A and 2/3 of group B ) then wouldn't the Group A play-offs end up between the 4 highest ranked teams? i.e the 4 in Group B that didn't make it? Leaving the group B play off between the highest ranked group C teams that didn't win their group i.e. effectively the second place teams in Group C groups?

So for arguments sake in the OP's list we have the nations league finishes according to seeded rank, as does qualification and everyone down to Bosnia (#20) qualify through normal qualification leaving N.Ireland, Denmark, Czech Rep and Turkey to fill the League A play off slots - IF - they didn't win their Nations league group. And also assuming Hungary, Romania, Scotland and Slovenia won their Nations league groups (to contest the C play offs) the B play offs would look to Greece, Serbia, Albania and Norway (assuming they finished second in their Nations league groups with better records than 3rd placed teams) to make up the numbers. And in Group D assuming Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Belarus and Georgia won their nations league groups they would still then contest the Group D play offs.

 

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53 minutes ago, Zatman said:

Are the qualifiers not after the league stage?

Yep, and the OP states "The overall Nations League rankings will determine the composition of the draw pots for the subsequent European qualifiers (European Championship or World Cup). "

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