This year’s World Cup may be in the winter, but there’s still a summer of football to look forward to as the third inauguration of the UEFA Nations League begins in June.

Here we take a look at all you need to know ahead of the tournament.

What is the UEFA Nations League?

The UEFA Nations League is a biennial competition featuring all 55 European football nations that are members of governing body UEFA. It was developed in 2018, largely as a replacement to international friendlies.

Teams are split into Leagues A, B, C and D. The first three leagues include 16 teams, divided into four groups of four. The remaining seven teams make up League D and are split into one group of four and one of three.

Teams play their opponents home and away across six match days.

The winners of their group in League A go on to contest the knock-out finals, while winners in other leagues achieve promotion. Fourth placed sides in their respective leagues face relegation.

Where is UEFA Nations League being played?

In the group stage, games are played home and away with each team having the chance to play three times in front of their home fans.

The knock-out finals are held in a predetermined country. Italy hosted the last UEFA Nations League in 2020-21, but the host for the upcoming 2022-23 tournament is yet to be confirmed.

When is UEFA Nations League being played?

Match day one and two games will be held between June 1st and June 8th, and there will be two further match days in June (9th – 14th). The remaining two match days will be played from 22nd – 27th September.

After the league format has concluded, the four group winners from League A will learn their opponents for the semi-finals, which will take place on the 14th and 15th of June 2023. The final and third-place play-off are scheduled for the June 18th 2023.

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League format

League A

Group A1: France, Denmark, Croatia, Austria
Group A2: Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Czech Republic
Group A3: Italy, Germany, England, Hungary
Group A4: Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, Wales

League B

Group B1: Ukraine, Scotland, Republic of Ireland, Armenia
Group B2: Iceland, Russia, Israel, Albania
Group B3: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Romania, Montenegro
Group B4: Sweden, Norway, Serbia, Slovenia

League C

Group C1: Turkey, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Faroe Islands
Group C2: Northern Ireland, Greece, Kosovo, Cyprus
Group C3: Slovakia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan
Group C4: Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Georgia, Gibraltar

League D

Group D1: Liechtenstein, Moldova, Andorra, Latvia
Group D2: Malta, Estonia, San Marino

Who are the previous winners of the UEFA Nations League?

There have only been two previous UEFA Nations League competitions.

Portugal hosted the inaugural tournament in 2018-19 and managed to win the trophy on home soil as they overcame the Netherlands in the final.

France emerged victorious from the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League after beating Spain 2-1 in the San Siro in Milan.

What are the odds for the UEFA Nations League?

France are the 3/1 favourites to retain their UEFA Nations League title, and Didier Deschamps’ side look to have a good chance of emerging as winners of Group A1 as they face Denmark (20/1), Croatia (33/1) and Austria (125/1).

England made the semi-finals of the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League before losing to the Netherlands and after their run to the 2020 European Championship Final, Gareth Southgate and his side look to hold good prospects of going close at 7/1 to win the competition.

Winning a group containing European Champions Italy (8/1) and Germany (9/1) won’t be easy though and any team that emerges from Group A3 will fancy their chances of going all the way.

Spain went down fighting in the final last time around and will be hoping to go one better this time (5/1). They face rivals Portugal (10/1) in Group A2 in what should be two absorbing clashes.

Wales line up in Group A4 and they are 150/1 to go all the way to Nations League glory. It will take a heroic effort for them to emerge from a group including Belgium (8/1), Netherlands (9/1) and Poland (80/1).

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