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Nations League: What to look out for

The Nations League is the focus on the international football front over the next week, with countries playing at least twice as the group stage concludes.

England face two tough games against Italy and Germany with the pressure on Gareth Southgate's side to respond following a dismal 4-0 home defeat to Hungary in their last match in June.

The Three Lions cannot qualify for next summer's Nations League Finals but will want to get back on track and build confidence ahead of the upcoming winter World Cup.

Scotland are in action three times against Ukraine twice and the Republic of Ireland, while Wales and Northern Ireland both play twice.

There's also important games for France, Spain and the Netherlands in what should be an exciting week of international action.

England aim to move on from Hungary low


Italy vs. England


San Siro, Milan


19:45, Friday 23rd September 2022

How to watch

Channel 4


Italy 9/5, England 6/4, Draw 11/5

England head to the San Siro in Milan for Friday's clash with Italy sitting bottom of Group A3, without a win in their last four games and needing to respond to a worrying 4-0 defeat at Molineux against Hungary.

The Three Lions, who are 11/2 to win the World Cup, already know they cannot qualify for the finals stage of the competition and face the embarrassing prospect of being relegated if they lose to the Azzurri.

That will be an important factor in Southgate's preparation for the tie but, with the World Cup just two months away, he will also want to build up confidence and assess his players before deciding who will make the cut and earn a place in his squad for Qatar.

There are also plenty of questions hanging over the European champions ahead of the clash as they look to bounce back from a 5-2 drubbing at the hands of Germany in their most recent match in the competition.

Roberto Mancini's side, who failed to qualify for the World Cup, will remain in contention to make the finals if they beat England again as they aim to follow up on their Euro 2020 Final penalty shoot-out success at Wembley.

Hungary still in finals contention

Hungary will qualify for the finals if they beat Germany on Friday in Leipzig and Italy do not beat the Three Lions, with Marco Rossi's side looking to build on two impressive wins over England in the Group and a draw at home to the Germans so far.

Germany will remain in finals contention if they avoid defeat and Die Mannschaft are 1/4 to win, the draw is 5/1 and a Hungary victory is available at 10/1.

Scotland host Ukraine again


Scotland vs. Ukraine


Hampden Park, Glasgow


19:45, Wednesday 21st September 2022

How to watch

ITV4 & Premier Sports 1


Scotland 6/4, Ukraine 15/8, Draw 21/10

Scotland are first in Nations League action on Wednesday when they host Ukraine in Group B1 in a repeat of their World Cup play-off semi-final, which Ukraine won 3-1, in June.

Steve Clarke's side have since beaten Armenia home and away, but lost 3-0 to Republic of Ireland in the Nations League, so they will be seeking a victory to keep their hopes of promotion up to Group A alive before they play the Republic at home on Saturday and then Ukraine in Poland next Tuesday.

Ireland's chances of promotion will be over if Ukraine beat the Scots on Wednesday, regardless of how their big weekend clash in Glasgow goes. The Irish then host Armenia in their final group game on Tuesday.

France still hunting first win

On Thursday world champions France continue their quest for a first Nations League victory in Group A1.

After two draws and two defeats so far, Les Bleus host Austria in Paris knowing they will be relegated if they lose and, like England, France cannot reach next summer's finals.

Les Bleus are 4/11 to win, a draw at the Stade de France is 15/4 and an Austrian victory is 13/2.

In the other game in the group on Thursday, Denmark will qualify for the finals if they win away to Croatia, a result which is available at 19/10.

Belgium a tough prospect in Brussels


Belgium vs. Wales


King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels


19:45, Thursday 22nd September 2022

How to watch

S4C & Premier Sports 1


Belgium 2/5, Wales 7/1, Draw 7/2

One of the standout games during the international break is Wales' clash with Belgium on Thursday, as Robert Page's men continue their preparations for their first World Cup finals appearance since 1958.

The Dragons are bottom of Group A4 and cannot make the Nations League finals, but they will be keen to show they can cope against the elite teams ahead of the winter showpiece.

Belgium, who are ranked second in the world and who are 14/1 to win the World Cup, will stay in contention to make the finals of the Nations League if they win, ahead of another enticing showdown against the Netherlands - who are currently top of the group - on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland play Kosovo at home on Saturday before a trip to Greece on Tuesday, but Ian Baraclough's side know they cannot be promoted from Group C, as the Greeks already have top spot sewn up with four wins from four so far.

Spain head competitive group

Group A2 remains finely poised as all four countries can still qualify for the finals as it stands.

Spain sit top and will book a finals place if they beat Switzerland on Saturday (1/2) and Portugal lose against Czech Republic on the same day.

Spain, who are 8/1 to be crowned world champions in Qatar, then go to neighbours Portugal in their final group clash on Tuesday.

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