Portugal and Poland will be Italy’s opponents in Group 3 of the first edition of the Nations League. The new competition will begin on 6th September with 55 UEFA nations involved. The draw was held today at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne with FIGC CEO and UEFA Vice-President Michele Uva and Team Manager Gabriele Oriali in attendance.
The Azzurri will compete in League A which features the UEFA sides with the highest positions in the Ranking. The tournament format will see teams play home and away with the group winner qualifying for a finals competition to be held in June 2019 while the bottom side will be relegated to League B.
Italy are therefore looking ahead to four exciting fixtures against two of the best teams in Europe. There have been 25 previous meetings with Portugal and the record is 18 wins, two draws and five defeats including the most recent meeting on 16th June 2015 in Geneva. The Azzurri also are ahead in the head-to-head record against Poland with five wins, six draws and three defeats. Italy won the most recent meeting on 11th November 2011 2-0 in a friendly in Wroclaw.
Four places at EURO 2020 are also on offer via the competition. The first edition of the competition without a fixed host’s qualifiers will remain unchanged other than starting in March rather than September. In the European Qualifiers, the teams will be divided into ten groups of five or six and the top two will automatically qualify for the finals.
The remaining four places will be decided in play-offs through the European Qualifiers which the 16 UEFA Nations League winners will progress to where they’ll be split into four groups of four. If the group winners has already qualified through the European Qualifiers, the place will move to the next team in their division. If a division doesn’t have four teams to complete a group, available places will be filled by sides from another division according to the overall standings of the UEFA Nations League.
In the photo (UEFA) League A teams on the home page. Above, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin with the UEFA Nations League trophy
League A Groups
Group 1: Germany, France, Netherlands
Group 2: Belgium, Switzerland, Iceland
Group 3: Portugal, ITALY, Poland
Group 4: Spain, England, Croatia
League B Groups
Group 1: Slovakia, Ukraine, Czech Republic
Group 2: Russia, Switzerland, Turkey
Group 3: Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Northern Ireland
Group 4: Wales, Republic of Ireland, Denmark
League C Groups
Group 1: Scotland, Albania, Israel
Group 2: Hungary, Greece, Finland, Estonia
Group 3: Slovenia, Norway, Bulgaria, Cyprus
Group 4: Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Lithuania
League D Groups
Group 1: Georgia, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Andorra
Group 2: Belarus, Luxemborug, Moldova, San Marino
Gruppo 3: Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands, Malta, Kosovo
Group 4: FYR Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar