Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Scotland named as top seeds in Nations League third tier

Robbie Brady with Ben Davies Source Ryan Byrne INPHO
Angelica Greene | 12 October, 2017, 00:36

Division B: Austria, Wales, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Ireland, Sweden, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic and Turkey.

Chris Coleman's side had been on course to challenge the likes of England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France for the inaugural title in European football's third major worldwide competition but lost out by less than 600 coefficient points.

Two teams will then play in June 2019 to become the inaugural UEFA Nations League winners.

Germany, Portugal, Belgium and Spain are the top seeds and can not play each other, with France, England, Switzerland and Italy in pot 2.

If the winners of the Nations League group have already qualified via the normal route, their place will go to the next best team in their group that hasn't secured a place.

The Uefa Nations League group stage will be played across three global breaks between September and November 2018.

Teams will be split into one group of three and three groups of four.

The UEFA Nations League Finals competition for the teams that win the four groups within the top division is scheduled for June 2019. This is a separate competition to the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

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Wales just missed out on League A, edged out by Netherlands, with Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland also in League B with them.

The competition, which is a new global tournament for European countries, will involve all 55 nations taking part from September to November 2018. The four group winners will be promoted to League B, with the four bottom sides relegated to League D for the 2020 edition.

Despite not qualifying for the World Cup either, the Netherlands will take their place in the 12-team "A" league at the expense of Chris Coleman's side.

Today it was announced which teams will feature in the four leagues.

So basically, there are four leagues - A, B, C and D - in which sides have been placed according to their position in the Uefa National Team Coefficient Rankings following the end of the European Qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup (play-off results will not be included).

Each league will have its own play-off competition with single-leg semi-final and final to decide who gets the final four places.

For example, with League D guaranteed a representative, Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Belarus and Latvia are the favourites to battle it out over a series of one-off contests to join, but not necessarily be competitive in, the finals jamboree.

The Euro 2020 qualification play-offs are set for March 2020 as mentioned above, and Euro 2020 itself, which will be played across the continent, will begin three months later.

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