Published: Sat, October 14, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Ireland Could Meet Familiar Foes In UEFA Nations League

Ireland Could Meet Familiar Foes In UEFA Nations League

Group games will be followed by semi-finals involving the four group winners and a final to be played in June 2019. The leagues were decided by the Uefa National Team Coefficient Rankings with the top 12 teams in League A.

The leagues today have been announced, with Ireland in League 2, alongside Austria, Wales, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic and Turkey.

A win for Wales against the Republic of Ireland on Monday would also have been enough - but missing out may not be a bad thing.

While the UEFA Nations League will replace most friendly internationals, there will still be space in the calendar for friendlies, especially for top teams who may want to face opposition from outside Europe as they will be in groups of three teams.

On the flip side, with relegation and promotion at the end of each cycle, it means that some of the teams historically always at the very pinnacle of the game are always just a couple of below-par performances away from suddenly finding themselves stuck in the second tier for at least two years, with seeding for the World Cup and European Championships affected as a result. The national teams of Ukraine and Russian Federation will be divided into different groups.

League D features 16 teams, with four groups of four, and those teams will play on all six assigned matchdays.

The 55 countries that make up Uefa will be split into four divisions according to their rankings.

In the 2018 World Cup qualification campaign, Albanian finished third in a group stage it could not do much against former world champions Spain and Italy.

The top four-ranked League B teams that do not qualify for Euro 2020 will enter play-offs in March 2020, with one finals place on offer.

Division D: Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Georgia, Belarus, Armenia, Faroe Islands, Latvia, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Malta, Kosovo, Andorra, San Marino and Gibraltar.

The competition, which is a new global tournament for European countries, will involve all 55 nations taking part from September to November 2018.

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