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Nations League: Start date, draw, format, how to watch & odds

England and Republic of Ireland are set to meet in the forthcoming Nations League after the group stage draw was made in February; here's everything you need to know ahead of the tournament.


What is the Nations League?

The UEFA Nations League was founded in 2018 as a means of reducing the number of meaningless friendlies on the international football calendar and matching teams with equally ranked nations.

Teams across the European continent compete in a league structure which includes promotion and relegation, with the highest performing sides in League A engaging in a knockout Nations League Finals tournament with a trophy up for grabs.

The Nations League can also boost teams' chances of obtaining qualification for Euros and World Cup finals, with three of the 24 places at Euro 2024 determined by Nations League play-offs.

When is the 2024/25 Nations League?

The league phase matches will be played in autumn 2024, with the finals to be staged in June 2025.

Nations League 2024/25 dates:

  • League phase draw: 8th February 2024
  • Matchday 1: 5th-7th September 2024
  • Matchday 2: 8th-10th September 2024
  • Matchday 3: 10th-12th October 2024
  • Matchday 4: 13th-15th October 2024
  • Matchday 5: 14th-16th November 2024
  • Matchday 6: 17th-19th November 2024
  • Knockout round play-off draw: November 2024
  • Knockout round play-off draw: 20th-25th March 2025
  • League A quarter-finals: 20th March-25th March 2025
  • Final tournament: 4th June-8th June 2025

Nations League Group Stage Draw

League A:

  • Group A1: Croatia, Portugal, Poland, Scotland
  • Group A2: Italy, Belgium, France, Israel
  • Group A3: Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Group A4: Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Serbia

League B:

  • Group B1: Czechia, Ukraine, Albania, Georgia
  • Group B2: England, Finland, Republic of Ireland, Greece
  • Group B3: Austria, Norway, Slovenia, Kazakhstan
  • Group B4: Wales, Iceland, Montenegro, Turkey

League C:

  • Group C1: Sweden, Azerbaijan, Slovakia, Estonia
  • Group C2: Romania, Kosovo, Cyprus, Lithuania/Gibraltar*
  • Group C3: Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Northern Ireland, Belarus
  • Group C4: Armenia, Faroe Islands, North Macedonia, Latvia

* - To be determined following 2022/23 play-offs in March 2024

League D:

  • Group D1: Lithuania/Gibraltar*, San Marino, Liechtenstein
  • Group D2: Moldova, Malta, Andorra

* - To be determined following 2022/23 play-offs in March 2024

All teams will play six matches in their Nations League group, one home and one away against each opponent.

How does the Nations League work?

The 2024/25 Nations League will comprise of four leagues - League A to League D - divided in line with teams' performance in the previous 2022/23 Nations League.

Within each League there are four different teams, again categorised in line with rankings from the 2022/23 Nations League.

Can I watch the Nations League?

The broadcasting rights for the 2024/25 Nations League have yet to be announced, with Channel 4 showing all six of England’s Nations League 2022/23 group matches and Viaplay Sports screening the Nations League Finals in the Netherlands.

How many times has the Nations League taken place?

The UEFA Nations League began in 2018/19, with Portugal crowned the inaugural winners of the new competition after a 1-0 win over over the Netherlands in Porto.

UEFA Nations League winners:

  • 2018/19: Portugal
  • 2020/21: France
  • 2022/23: Spain

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