WALES were included in a recent draw for UEFA’s brand new competitive tournament, but how does it all work?
Wednesday saw the inaugural draw for the UEFA Nations League, designed to give international friendlies a competitive edge.
Each of the 55 national teams in Europe are divided into four leagues based on ranking, with each league divided again into four groups of three or four teams. The grouped teams will then play each other home and away.
Matches will be played over a 10-week period between September and November this year, and will be played in subsequent “empty” seasons without a European Championship or World Cup.
Group winners in League A will play each other in knockout finals in June to decide a champion. There is also a promotion/relegation element with teams able to move up through the leagues depending on placement in their respective groups.
Qualification for European Championships and possibly the World Cup will be offered via play-offs, the places given to group winners who have not already qualified via the traditional qualifying campaign.
Wales, in League B, have been drawn in Group 4 and will face Denmark and the Republic of Ireland. The draw is certainly a challenging one, pitting Wales against two very talented outfits. It does however give Gareth Bale and co a chance to gain a measure of revenge over the Irish.
Martin O’Neill’s side broke Welsh hearts in October as his side ground out a 1-0 win over Wales in Cardiff to end Wales’ hopes of reaching the 2018 World Cup.
Ryan Giggs, the newly appointed Wales boss, spoke after the draw: “We’ve got a good draw. It was a disappointing night in Cardiff, the players will be looking to right that wrong.”
How will Wales fare in this group? Let us know below.
The draw in full: