February 08, (THEWILL) – The 2024/2025 UEFA Nations League groups have been confirmed, setting up some mouth-watering fixtures between European heavyweights. France, runners-up at the 2022 World Cup, will face recent European champions Italy and highly ranked Belgium in Group A2 in what promises to be a competitive pool.
Israel has qualified for the elite League A for the first time in their history, securing a place alongside France in Group A2 after earning promotion. Meanwhile, 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia will battle it out with former Nations League winners Portugal, Robert Lewandowski’s Poland and a dangerous Scotland team in Group A3.
A new knockout stage will be introduced for this edition of the Nations League, with the four group winners and runners-up from League A competing in two-legged quarterfinals for a place in the finals. All group winners in Leagues B, C and D will earn automatic promotion, while the bottom-placed sides in Leagues A and B will be relegated.
England, recently relegated to League B, has been drawn against old rivals the Republic Of Ireland, Finland and Greece. Gareth Southgate’s squad avoided being placed in the same group as Kazakhstan owing to UEFA regulations regarding excessive travel.
With Russia still banned from UEFA competitions due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, they miss out on the Nations League. The expanded tournament promises plenty of high-stakes action as Europe’s top teams battle for silverware and ranking points.