The UEFA Nations League 2022/23 Guide
Whilst we await the arrival of the World Cup 2022, we have some international football action to keep us entertained in the meantime. We have already started out with the first match days – and football betting fans will certainly be using these games to see the form of the European international teams.
But, apart from practice – and serving as a way for bettors to see the form of their teams, what is the UEFA Nations League? What does it mean and how does it work… and why should teams try and win?
About the UEFA Nations League 2022/23
The UEFA Nations League is competed between the 55 members of UEFA and, amongst other things, was created because there was a growing feeling that the friendly international format wasn’t adequate competition for the continent’s top teams. The inaugural season began in 2018 and we are now in the third season.
This year’s competition kicked off in June 2022, with the Nations League Finals scheduled to be played in June 2023. It is made up of three leagues each consisting of 16 teams, and a fourth league which is made up of the other 7 teams. These leagues are very much based on results and seedings – and the four groupings within these leagues were drawn in December 2021.
How The 2022/23 UEFA Nations League Works
The first three Leagues – A, B and C are made up of 16 teams each. These are then divided further into four groups of four teams. League D is made up of 7 teams, split into 2 groups – one group of 4 teams and the other group with 3 teams. The members of each group will play the other 3 members twice – at home and away. These games will be played in June and September 2022.
League A is the top league (the Premier League if you like). The four teams that win their groups will then make it to the knockouts in June 2023.
The 8 teams that win League B and League C will all get guaranteed promotion to the 2024/24 editions. The teams that finish bottom of their groups in League A and B are relegated to lower leagues, whilst the teams that are bottom of their group in League C will need to play in the play-outs in March 2023. The two losing teams will drop down to League D.
The 2022/23 Leagues and Groups
This year, the groups are as follows:
- Group A1: France, Denmark, Croatia and Austria
- Group A2: Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and the Czech Republic
- Group A3: Italy, Germany, England and Hungary
- Group A4: Belgium, Netherlands, Poland and Wales
- Group B1: Ukraine, Scotland, ROI and Armenia
- Group B2: Iceland, Israel, Albania (and Russia*)
- Group B3: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Romania and Montenegro
- Group B4: Norway, Sweden, Slovenia and Serbia
*Russia will no longer be taking part and will automatically take last place in their group.
- Group C1: Turkey, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Faroe Islands
- Group C2: Greece, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and Kosovo
- Group C3: Belarus, Slovakia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan
- Group C4: Gibraltar, Bulgaria, Georgia and North Macedonia
- Group D1: Andorra, Latvia, Liechtenstein and Moldova
- Group D2: Estonia, Malta and San Marino
2022/23 Important Dates
Matchdays 1 and 2: 1st – 8th June 2022
Matchdays 3 and 4: 9th -14th June 2022
Matchdays 5 and 6: 22nd-27th September 2022
The finals draw will be held at an unconfirmed date and time
The semi-finals: 14th and 15th June 2023
Finals and third-place match: 18th June 2023
The playouts: 21st-23rd and the 24th-26th March 2024
Qualifying for UEFA Euro 2024
There are 24 places in Euro 2024 and three of these places will be determined by playoff spots via the UEFA Nations League 2022/23. In addition to these three teams, another twelve teams are selected based on their UEFA Nations League performance. This would normally include the 12 winning teams in Leagues A, B and C. However, if those have already qualified as one of the three playoff teams, then their place will go to the group runner-up.
In 2018/19 the four Groups in League A only contained 3 teams. The only teams to make it through group stages unbeaten was Portugal, beating off Italy and Poland. The team went to the semi-finals against Switzerland, where a hat-trick from Ronaldo saw them win by three goals to one. In the other semi-finals, The Netherlands saw off England with the same scoreline.
The Final was played in Portugal, at the Estadio do Dragao, when Goncalo Guedes scored his first international goal to earn them the win. England managed to defeat Switzerland on penalties to take third place.
In 2020/21, Spain managed to thump Germany 6-0 and earned the top spot in their group, taking them to a semi-final game against the newly crowned European champions, Italy. However, the Spanish saw them off, winning 2-1. Meanwhile, France was facing a semi-final against Belgium after defeating Croatia and Sweden in the group stage. Les Bleus saw off the Red Devils 3-2 and took their place against Spain in the finals. The French managed to beat the Spanish team 2-1, whilst Italy beat Belgium to take the third spot.