UEFA Nations League
UEFA Nations League Free Bets
There has always been criticism of the meaningless friendlies that countries play, usually from managers who fear their top players are going to get injured. Well, 2018 saw a big change in the international calendar with the introduction of the UEFA Nations League. The tournament filled in that ‘empty’ season when there’s no European Championship or World Cup and will present punters with plenty of betting opportunities and those in charge of national sides, another reason to sack their manager when they get their country relegated.
2020-21 UEFA Nations League
The second season of the UEFA Nations League is due to begin in October 2020. There have been changes made to the format with 55 teams now split up into four leagues. A, B and C now have 16 teams each, divided into four groups of four. Previously, it was groups of three and this sees teams that were relegated now being given reprieves. League D has seven teams with one group of four and another of three.
A1: Netherlands, Italy, Bosnia and Poland
A2: England, Belgium, Denmark and Iceland
A3: Portugal, France, Sweden and Croatia.
A4: Switzerland, Spain, Ukraine and Germany.
B1: Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland and Romania
B2: Czech Republic, Scotland, Slovakia and Israel
B3: Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Hungary
B4: Wales, Finland, Republic of Ireland and Bulgaria.
C1: Montenegro, Cyprus, Luxembourg and Azerbaijan.
C2: Georgia, North Macedonia, Estonia and Armenia
C3: Greece, Kosovo, Slovenia and Moldova.
C4: Albania, Belarus, Lithuania and Kazakhstan.
D1: Faroe Islands, Latvia, Andorra and Malta
D2: Gibraltar, Liechtenstein and San Marino.
2018-19 UEFA Nations League
The draw was made for the semi-finals on December 3 and England were paired with the Netherlands with hosts Portugal taking on Switzerland.
June 5: Portugal 3 Switzerland 1
June 6: England 1 Netherlands 3
Third and Fourth Place Play-off
June 9: Switzerland 0 England 0 - England won 6-5 on penalties
June 9: Portugal 1 Netherlands 0
England Qualify for the Finals
The group stages ended on Monday November 19 and all the promotion and relegation issues have been confirmed with some surprises along the way. The four teams that have qualified for the finals next year are England, The Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland. Here's how all the groups progressed
Group One; Netherlands, France, and Germany
The nightmare of the World Cup continued into the Nations League for Germany as they suffered relegation at the first time of asking and will compete in League B in the next edition of the tournament. A woeful few performances from the Germans saw them fail to win a game in four and finsih bottom of Group One. Even more surprising is that Netherlands have come out on top of the group, scraping through ahead of France on head-to-head goal difference. Having endured a few torrid years, the Dutch have made a serious resurrgence and will compete in the Nations League Finals in 2019.
Group Two; Iceland, Switzerland, and Belgium
There were some remarkable results in the Nations League group stages, but possibly the most memorable was Switzerland coming from two goals down to beat Belgium 5-2, which saw them into the finals. The teams met on the final day of Group Two with Belgium just needing a draw to see them top the group, so when they went 2-0 ahead after 17 minutes, things looked pretty rosy for the Red Devils. The Swiss were not to be denied, though, scoring five goals in a crazy hour in Lucerne to pip the Belgians on head-to-head goal difference. Iceland were the sacrificial lambs of this group, losing all their matches and being relegated.
Group Three; Poland, Italy, and Portugal
The least exciting of the groups in League A saw Portugal scrap their way through to the finals ahead of Italy and Poland, with the latter suffering the drop to League B. There was not a lot between the Portuguese and the Italians in this one, with the two matches between them ending 1-0 to Portugal and the second in a goalless draw. But it was the lack of firepower that really cost Italy, scoring just two goals in four games. Portugal were hardly free-flowing, but they did enough to get through, with the Poles largely out-classed.
Group Four; Croatia, England, and Spain
England’s incredible year continued as they followed up their thrilling World Cup campaign by topping their Nations League group is spectacular style. After losing their opener to Spain and drawing in Croatia, the Three Lions had it all to do, and that is exactly what they did. Gareth Southgate took his men to Seville and won 3-2, before coming from behind to score two late goals and beat Croatia 2-1 at Wembley and secure top spot a point ahead of Spain.
Croatia may consider themselves unfortunate to be relegated with four points, but having only won once and losing 6-0 to Spain in their opener, they cannot have too many complaints. England march on to the finals to take on either Netherlands, Portugal or Switzerland in the semis.
P - Promoted R - Relegated
Group One; Czech Republic, Ukraine (P), and Slovakia (R)
Group Two; Turkey (R), Sweden, and Russia
Group Three; Northern Ireland (R), Bosnia and Herzegovina (P) and Austria
Group Four; Denmark (P), Republic of Ireland (R), and Wales
Group One; Israel, Albania, and Scotland
Group Two; Estonia (R), Finland (P), Greece, and Hungary
Group Three; Cyprus, Bulgaria, Norway (P), and Slovenia (R)
Group Four; Lithuania (R), Montenegro, Serbia, and Romania
Group One; Andorra, Kazakhstan, Latvia, and Georgia (P)
Group Two; San Marino, Moldova, Luxembourg, and Belarus (P)
Group Three; Kosovo, Malta, Faroe Islands, and Azerbaijan
Group Four; Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Armenia, and Macedonia (P)
How to Use Your Free Bet on the UEFA Nations League
There are going to be plenty of opportunities to use your free bets on this tournament. These include
- Overall Winner
- Group Winners
- Countries to be Relegated
- Top goal scorer
- Individual Match Betting
- Stage of elimination for each country