The qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia have now finished, meaning that the line-ups for the first ever UEFA Nations League have been confirmed. The new competition will begin on September 6th and will include 55 European Nations, aimed at replacing a large proportion of the traditional friendlies that are played. Italy will take part in League A, comprised of countries with the highest UEFA Rankings. This includes: Germany, Portugal, Belgium Spain, France, England, Switzerland, Poland, Iceland, Croatia and the Netherlands.
Each league will be sub-divided into four groups of three or four teams, and teams will play each other home and away between September and November 2018. The winners of each group will advance to the competition finals in June 2019, while the bottom four teams will be relegated to League B for the 2020 edition.
The tournament will make four places available for EURO 2020. As for qualifying, this remains largely the same, although the European Qualifiers will now begin in the March following a major tournament instead of immediately in September. 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.
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. 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 rankings.
The Four Leagues
League A: ITALY, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, France, England, Switzerland, Poland, Iceland, Croatia, Netherlands
League B: Austria, Wales, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, Republic of Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Turkey
League C: Hungary, Romania, Scotland, Slovenia, Greece, Serbia, Albania, Norway, Montenegro, Israel, Bulgaria, Finland, Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania
League D: Azerbaijan, FYR Macedonia, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Latvia, Faroe Islands, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Malta, Andorra, Kosovo, San Marino, Gibraltar
UEFA Nations League Calendar
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