UEFA Nations League: State of play for finals, promotion and relegationOctober 17, 2018
There are now just two rounds of games left in the UEFA Nations League, and the picture is becoming clearer about who will take part in the finals next June, as well as which nations will be promoted and relegated.
You can read a full explainer for the UEFA Nations League here.
– The group winners of League A go to the Nations League finals in June 2019- The group winners of Leagues B, C and D are promoted- The bottom teams in the groups of Leagues A and B are relegated- The fourth placed teams, and the worst-performing third-placed team, in the groups of League C are relegated. Points against the team in fourth-place are removed to calculate the worst-performing third-placed team as Group 1 only has three teams.- Final positions in the Nations League will also decided draw pots for Euro 2020 qualifying
This is what is still at stake in November’s final fixtures.
France are in control of the group after winning at home to Germany, and will finish top if they avoid defeat away to Netherlands on Nov. 16. Netherlands must win both their remaining games guarantee reaching the finals, the second being away to Germany on Nov. 19. However, if Netherlands beat France by two goals, or a one-goal margin other than 1-0, a draw in Germany would see the Dutch top. Germany now cannot win the group, and will be relegated to League B if Netherlands win at home to France. If the Dutch lose to France, then they will go to Germany needing to avoid defeat to stave off relegation. But if the Dutch draw with France, Germany will have to beat them by four goals to stay up due to the head to head.
Belgium are in the box seat, level on points with Switzerland at the top of the table with a game extra to play. Added to that, they won their first meeting with Switzerland 3-0. It means that if Belgium win at home to already-relegated Iceland next time out, they will top the group unless they lose heavily in Lucerne with head-to-head the first tiebreaker.
Portugal are very much in charge of this group, needing a draw from their trip to Italy on Nov. 17 to secure a place in the finals. Even if they lose in Milan, they will get a second chance and would still be top if they then win at home to Poland, who are already down, in the final match.
All three teams are still in this group. Spain will be through to the finals if they win in Croatia on Nov. 15. However, if they fail to win then England would win the group with a home victory over Croatia on Nov. 18. Croatia must win both those matches to finish first, while England would definitely be relegated should they lose at home to Croatia.
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Ukraine secured promotion with a win at home to Czech Republic. Slovakia are bottom of the pile without a point and, while they have two games left, they go to Czech Republic on the final day where they will likely need to win to avoid relegation.
Russia are almost home and dry, cannot be relegated and are guaranteed pot 2 in the Euro 2020 qualifying draw. Only Sweden, who only have one point, can stop them by winning in Turkey and at home to Russia.
Bosnia and Herzegovina are another team on the brink of promotion. Austria must win at home to Bosnia and away in Northern Ireland to deny them top spot. Northern Ireland will be relegated if Austria avoid defeat against Bosnia.
Wales go into November top of the group, though Denmark have two games still to play. First up, Wales host Denmark and the winners will be guaranteed top spot and promotion. A draw, and Denmark would then need to win at home to Republic of Ireland to top the group. Ireland now cannot win the group and must hope Denmark lose in Wales, and they then win at home to Denmark, to stay up.
“Wales are now in control of Group 4.” Michael Regan/Getty Images
This group could go any way, with Israel top, three points ahead of Scotland and Albania. First up on Nov. 17, Albania must win at home to Scotland to stay in contention, any other result would mean they finish bottom. If Albania lose, they are in danger of being one of the worst-ranked third-placed teams and being relegated. For Scotland, they know a draw in Albania and a win at home to Israel on Nov. 20 will earn promotion. Israel only need a point for top spot. If Albania beat Scotland, and Scotland beat Israel, the group will be decided on goal difference, goals scored, or even away record.
Finland have won all four of their Nations League games and only need a point in Greece on Nov. 15 to secure promotion and a Euro 2020 playoff. However, if they lose that game by more than two goals then they could be overhauled on the final day. Hungary can avoid bottom spot, and will probably be safe from relegation, with a point at home to Estonia in the next match.
Bulgaria (a-Cyprus, h-Slovenia) are top of the group ahead of Norway (a-Slovenia, a-Cyprus) on goal difference, and they have played each other twice. It’s going to go to the wire, but both Norway’s games are away. Cyprus have slim hope five points further back. Slovenia need to claim at least four points from their remaining two games to avoid relegation.
Serbia and Montenegro are separated by just a point, with the two teams meeting in Belgrade on Nov. 17. But Romania (home to Lithuania and away to Montenegro) are only a point further back, so any of the three could win the group — though Montenegro appear to have the tougher fixtures (away to Serbia and home to Romania). Two home games for Serbia (Montenegro, Lithuania) suggests they are hot favourites. Lithuania will be relegated unless they win both of their games.
Georgia sealed promotion with two games to spare, and are guaranteed a Euro 2020 playoff place.
Luxembourg sit on top of the group and will be promoted with a win at home to Belarus on Nov. 15. A draw will also do for them in that game if they win in Moldova on the final day. Belarus know victory in Luxembourg should effectively win them the group, with a trip to San Marino on the final day. Moldova have to win both their remaining games and hope Luxembourg vs. Belarus is a draw.
Kosovo are top of the group by two points, and victory in Malta on Nov. 17 will see them promoted if second-placed Azerbaijan do not win at home to Faroe Islands. Kosovo host Azerbaijan on the final day, and if both teams win their first match it’s set up for a winner-takes-all showdown. Faroe Islands are very much outsiders for top spot and would need to beat Azerbaijan and Malta, then hope Kosovo vs. Azerbaijan is a draw and Kosovo lose to Malta.
Macedonia are top of the group, three points clear, and will be promoted if they win in Liechtenstein on Nov. 16 as long as Gibraltar draw with Armenia. If there is a winner between Gibraltar and Armenia, then the group is guaranteed to go down to the final day.