England in top tier of new UEFA Nations League

UEFA Nations League - Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales will be in 'B' competition

THE Uefa Nations League could turn into a repeat of the Carling Nations Cup - with Ireland being potentially grouped with Northern Ireland and Wales.

The very top sides in Europe also have a new biennial worldwide honour to compete for - the UEFA Nations League trophy; a three-match mini-tournament hosted at a single venue during June in the years between major finals.

Nations League rankings will then be used to decide which teams qualify for the play-offs to decide the final four spots at Euro 2020.

League A includes the likes of world champions Germany, reigning European Championship winners Portugal, France and England.

The UEFA Nations League group games, all teams will play each other home and away, will be held over six matchdays, during the "double-headers" in September, October and November 2018.

The top three leagues will see four teams relegated, meaning that it could be an advantage for teams to be demoted to a weaker division before the second edition, with possible 2022 World Cup places at stake.

The results of the past week's World Cup qualifiers cemented each country's starting position in the Nations League - a biennial four-division tournament which replaces friendly matches from September.

Like League A, League B will also comprise 12 teams split into four groups of three.

Wales just missed out on League A, edged out by Netherlands, with Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland also in League B with them.

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League C: Hungary, Romania, Scotland, Slovenia, Greece, Serbia, Albania, Norway, Montenegro, Israel, Bulgaria, Finland, Cyprus, Estonia and Lithuania.

The draw of the League of Nations on 24 January 2018 in Lausanne.

The winners of the four groups in League A will qualify for the Final Four competition.

League A will consist of the 12 top-ranked teams.

For example, with League D guaranteed a representative, Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Belarus and Latvia are the favourites to battle it out over a series of one-off contests to join, but not necessarily be competitive in, the finals jamboree.

There are four tiers and nations have been placed with teams of similar ability.

UEFA's website has a full breakdown of how the Nations League will work.

The qualification for Euro 2020 will now now run from March to November 2019, with Dublin hosting the Group draw on 2 December 2018.

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