France to play Italy and Belgium in Nations League

football08 February 2024 18:00| © AFP
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World Cup runners-up France, European champions Italy and Belgium will face off in the 2024-25 Uefa Nations League, while holders Spain will be favourites to win a group comprising Denmark, Switzerland and Serbia.

Israel are the fourth team in Group A2 alongside Didier Deschamps' France following their promotion to the top tier for the first time.

Croatia, who lost last year's final to Spain on penalties, are in Group A3 with former winners Portugal, Poland and Scotland. Euro 2024 hosts Germany meet the Netherlands in Group A3 along with Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

England will play the Republic of Ireland, Finland and Greece after Gareth Southgate's team were relegated to League B. They avoided being grouped with Kazakhstan because of Uefa rules pertaining to excessive travel conditions.

Each league contains four groups of four teams except for the bottom League D, which has six teams in total and just two groups. Russia remain banned due to the invasion of Ukraine.

This Nations League will feature a new knockout round, with the winners and runners-up from League A groups taking part in two-legged quarterfinals. The winners of the four ties will advance to the finals.

All group winners in League B, C and D are automatically promoted, while the last-placed teams in League A and B will be relegated as before.

The two worst-ranked teams in League C drop into League D, the bottom tier.

There will also be play-offs between third-placed sides in League A and those finishing second in League B. The same ties will be played to determine further promotion and relegation between League B and C.