Who’d have thought it, eh? A year on from reaching the Euro 2020 final, the English have suffered UEFA Nations League relegation.
Last Friday’s dismal defeat in Italy ensured the Three Lions will drop into League B when the competition that nobody still quite understands returns in 2024.
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They are one of four countries to be waving farewell to the top tier of the Nations League. Wales and Austria have also been confirmed for the drop while the Czech Republic and Switzerland meet in a relegation decider on Tuesday.
Once the little matter of the World Cup and Euro 2024 qualifiers are out of the way, England fans will, no doubt, be dreaming of Nations League promotion.
Who will they meet in the second tier? Albania, Iceland and Montenegro are confirmed to remain in League B while Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan and Turkey have all earned promotion from League C.
Scotland or Ukraine will win promotion from Group B1 while the Republic of Ireland or Armenia will be relegated to League C. Finland or Romania will drop out of Group B3. Group B4 will see Norway or Serbia promoted to League A while Slovenia or Sweden will drop into League C.
UEFA Nations 2024/25 League B Teams: Albania, Austria, England, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Turkey, Wales, Czech Republic/Switzerland, Scotland/Ukraine, Norway/Serbia, Republic of Ireland/Armenia, Finland/Romania, Slovenia/Sweden
The moaners and groaners will grumble that the Nations League is a bit of a naff competition that isn’t much better than playing meaningless friendlies. Their words, not mine.
But there’s a greater issue at play for England – and it all involves the Euro 2024 qualifiers.
The seedings for the qualification process are based on performance in the Nations League, with the top-10 teams in League A, other than Euro 2024 hosts Germany who automatically qualify, being in Pot 1 for the draw.
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England and Wales are doomed to Pot 2 due to their woeful performance in the Nations League. France will also be in Pot 2 after bagging just five points from their six fixtures.
Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain are guaranteed places in UNL Pot/Pot 1. The Czech Republic or Switzerland will take the final spot among the top seeds.
A total of 53 teams will take part in the Euro 2024 qualifiers. The countries will be split into seven groups of five and three groups of six, with the top two in each progressing to the competition proper.
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