UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE ROUND UP THUS FAR

The UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE is a tournament played by Europe’s top teams with over 55 teams contesting for the trophy. Since its inauguration in 2018, we have had two winners in the biennial tournament with Portugal and France the only winners of the tournament. The new league structure comprises of 16 teams in Leagues A, B and C and seven teams in League D. The tournament’s third edition is already in play and we take a look at how things are panning out thus far.

LEAGUE A

With 4 groups of 16 teams in League A, The top teams after the 6 match home and away fixtures qualify to play the Semi Finals, Third place matches and Finals while the last teams relegate to LEAGUE B.

Group A1 – it’s a surprise to everyone that France currently sit bottom of this group with just 2 draws and 2 losses after 4 games played while Denmark, Croatia and Austria occupy the top 3 spots with 2 games to spare as France battle relegation and the 2 point difference between Denmark and Croatia looking to go down till the last group day.

Group A2 – Spain lead the standings albeit with a short point haul as 1 point separates them and Portugal as we delve into the last 2 group matches that would determine who are table toppers with Czech Republic and Switzerland occupying the last two spots respectively.

Group A3 – it’s surprising enough that England currently occupy the last spot in this group with no wins in 4 matches but it’s even more surprising that Hungary lead this group with Germany and Italy occupying the next two available spots although just two points separate Hungary in 1st place and Italy in 3rd place.

Group A4 – Netherlands are the trail blazers with 3 wins and 1 Draw seeing them command a three point gap over second placed Belgium with the group stages entering its two last match phase. Poland and Wales occupy the last two spots with the battle for relegation ongoing between both teams.

That is the round up on Group A with 2 round of matches left.

GROUP B

LEAGUE B proceedings see the top team in each group qualify to League A while the last teams in all group descend to League C.

Group B1 – despite playing three games thus far, Ukraine and Scotland lead the table with 7 points and 6 points respectively while Republic of Ireland and Armenia despite having played four matches are struggling for the relegation battle with 4 points and 3 points apiece.

Group B2 – Israel, Iceland and Albania complete the group’s contenders with the ban of Russia leaving just three teams in the group. Israel look to be in pole position thus far coming out on top after three games with just one round of match left in the group.

Group B3 – Bosnia and Herzegovina take the lead in this group with an unbeaten status (W2, D2) in what has been a good showing thus far for them. But not too far are Montenegro who are just 1 point away from top place as the clash between who would be table toppers likely to be decided in the meeting between them. Finland and Romania complete the last two spots with relegation likely to be fought between both of them.

Group B4 – Norway seem to be off to a first place finish with a fine performance having seen them muster a solid 10 point haul in 4 games and a 3 point gap over second placed Serbia as we head into the last two matches of the group stage. In third and fourth place respectively, we have Sweden and Slovenia as the last matches most likely being key to seeing how this group standings end.

That is the round up of LEAGUE B.

LEAGUE C

Unlike Group B, the last placed four teams here do not get relegated outrightly but instead play a relegation playoffs between the 4 bottom placed teams, the two winners from two matches stay while the losers plunge into the League D.

Group C1 – Turkey look to be bossing the group with four wins out of four and have scored 14 goals without conceding any, they need just 1 point to qualify for Group B with Luxembourg (7 points), Faroe Islands (4 points) and Lithuania (0 points) all in the mix as they all head into the last two games of the group phase.

Group C2 – Greece has confirmed their status in the Group B phase for next season with four wins in four games enough to guarantee their entry. Kosovo are the nearest to the Greek National Team with 6 points but that only looks to see them avoid relegation with Northern Ireland and Cyprus left to fight for relegation with both teams on 2 points apiece.

In Group C3, Kazakhstan are surprise leaders with the team currently on 10 points after four games as they look to get promoted to Group B, A win in thier next game would see them confirm their qualification status with Slovakia lurking in the shadows. Azerbaijan and Belarus complete the last two teams in the league as they battle to avoid the dreaded drop.

Group C4 – Georgia and North Macedonia are looking to slug it out till the very end with 3 points separating both teams as Georgia take the initiative in this group and with 2 matches remaining, it is likely going to be a dicey contest between both teams with the winner likely to be known at the last day of the group proceedings. Bulgaria and Gibraltar (both winless) would fight for who stays in the league.

That is the round up on League C.

LEAGUE D

LEAGUE D only has two groups of 7 teams and each group gets to have 1 team promoted and there are no relegations in this group.

Group D1 – Latvia have all but sealed promotion in this group with the team currently on a riot with four wins in four games looking more than enough to see them gain promotion, they would need a draw in their last two games to confirm that status. Moldova, Andorra and Liechtenstein are going remain in the Group D at least for one more season.

Group D2 – with only three teams in this group, Estonia lead the standings despite having played 2 matches as opposed to 3 matches that Malta and San Marino. Malta and Estonia are currently tied on 6 points apiece but Estonia’s game in hand looks to give them the advantage and with four round of matches required in this group, it’s more likely that Estonia would carry the day at the end of it all.

That’s the round up on League D.

The next round of matches resume September as the final table standings would be decided by then as we look forward to the relegation playoffs in March and the Nation League Finals in June.

🖋 – RIDDLER ZLATAN-HARDIZ 👽

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