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, 2019 sees a big change in the international calendar with the introduction of the UEFA Nations League.

The tournament fills 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.

UEFA Nations League Format

The UEFA Nations League begins on 6 September 2018 and begins with a series of group matches.  There are four levels in this tournament based on rankings, each having four groups and there is promotion and relegation at stake, until people realize it might not be such a clever idea and the league is scrapped, sadly there’s no betting on when that will happen.

Each of the four groups in each tier consists of three teams and they play each other home and away between September and November 2018. That will make for a congested fixture list as individual leagues are in progress and the Champions and Europa Leagues are also at their group stages. Perhaps it’s just getting us ready for the chaos that will ensue when the 2022 World Cup is played in the winter rather than the summer.

The teams that finish top in the top tier progress to a knock-out final in June 2019 to decide the first UEFA Nations League winners. June 2019 already has teams playing two Euro 2010 qualifiers, so it could be a hectic time in this league that has knock-out games so isn’t really a league.

Promotion and Relegation

The group winners in each of the other three levels win promotion to the level above them. The teams that finish bottom of the groups in each of the top three levels get relegated to the level below them. All this misery of years without success and now England and the other home nations face the prospect of relegation but don’t worry there’s even more to this competition which is starting to feel as easy to explain as the Duckworth Lewis system in cricket and no one can do that, apart from Duckworth and Lewis. The mere fact that the official regulations page for this tournament is 60 pages long says it all.

Euro 2020 Qualification

The league will have an influence on who qualifies for Euro 2020. Under the current qualification rules, there are four places that aren’t filled by the qualification groups. The four teams that qualify for the Nations League finals have a chance to grab one of those four places.  If the four group winners have already qualified then their place will go to the next highest-ranked team from the Nations League tier, though that may not necessarily be the team that finished second in their group as they may have already qualified too.  This process is also due to be used for future World Cup qualification.

It all sounds fun, if not confusing but in the end, we just have a load more international games to use our free bets on and goodbye to those boring friendlies. Even if that does mean such classic games as San Marino vs Moldova and Kosovo vs Malta. Then again, countries may still choose to use these matches to field weakened teams and blood new players, so we’ll be back to square one.

UEFA Nations League Draw

The draw has been made for the group stages of the tournament. It was made before the 2018 World Cup finals took place so let's take a look at the line-up for League A which features the best that Europe has to offer.

League A

Group One; Netherlands, France, and Germany

Now this is likely to be one of the most fascinating groups. We have the World Champions France up against a Netherlands team that has failed to qualify for the last two major tournaments and Germany who need to bounce back from their Russian disaster. Just think, if the Netherlands can find some form, then either the current world champs or Germany will end up being relegated to League B.

Group Two; Iceland, Switzerland, and Belgium

Belgium reached the semi-finals of the recent World Cup and will be looking to build on that. Switzerland did well to get a draw with Brazil but only made it as far as the last sixteen losing to Sweden.  Iceland put in a disappointing performance in their debut appearance in the World Cup finals and will be hoping to avoid relegation.

Group Three; Poland, Italy, and Portugal

Another intriguing group between three teams who didn't do as well in the World Cup as they hoped they might. Italy need to recover from failing to reach Russia, while Poland were knocked out in the group stages. Portugal will again rely on Cristiano Ronaldo for goals after reaching the last sixteen in Russia.

Group Four; Croatia, England, and Spain

England were considered heroes after reaching the World Cup semi-final but could come down to Earth with a bump in this tournament. They open with a home game against Spain who will look to improve on their last sixteen performance in Russia. Then England head to Croatia for a repeat of that semi-final game.

Other Leagues

League B

Group One; Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Slovakia

Group Two; Turkey, Sweden, and Russia

Group Three; Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Austria

Group Four; Denmark, Republic of Ireland, and Wales

League C

Group One; Israel, Albania, and Scotland

Group Two; Estonia, Finland, Greece, and Hungary

Group Three; Cyprus, Bulgaria, Norway, and Slovenia

Group Four; Lithuania, Montenegro, Serbia, and Romania

League D

Group One; Andorra, Kazakhstan, Latvia, and Georgia

Group Two; San Marino, Moldova, Luxembourg, and Belarus

Group Three; Kosovo, Malta, Faroe Islands, and Azerbaijan

Group Four; Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Armenia, and Macedonia

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

By:- Steve A
Posted on:- 29/01/2018 - 11:47 AM

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