UEFA Nations League Winner Predictions, Odds, Picks 2022/23

National League Finals Winner

  • The UEFA Nations League is back for its third campaign in 2022/23
  • Every European nation bar Russia will be competing in the competition
  • France are the current holders after they won the second edition of the Nations League

The 2022/23 UEFA Nations League is the edition of the tournament, which was created in 2018. The introduction of the competition was controversial, with many labeling it convoluted and complicated, and others deeming it unnecessary and pointless. But while it did take a while for fans to get their heads around the format, it is fair to say that UEFA’s invention has been a success.

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Who Were the Nations League 2021 Winners?

France won the last edition of the Nations League in 2020/21. They qualified for the Finals by topping a group that also contained Portugal, Croatia and Sweden. Didier Deschamps’ side then beat Belgium 3-2 in the semi-finals, before registering a 2-1 victory over Spain in the final.

How Does the Nations League Work?

All UEFA members are split into four leagues based on their performance in the previous edition of the Nations League. Teams ranked one to 16 compete in League A, 17-32 in League B, 33-48 in League C, and 49-55 in League D. Leagues A, B and C are then divided into four groups containing four teams each. League D is divided into two groups – one containing four teams and another containing three.

Teams play each other side in their group home and away. Those that finish top of the groups in League A qualify for the Nations League Finals. Those that finish top of the groups in League B, League C and League D are promoted to the league above, while those that finish bottom of these groups are relegated to the one below. There is one exception: in League C, relegation play-offs are held between the four bottom-placed teams to determine the two which are relegated to League D.

The Nations League also provides European teams with a second chance to qualify for the European Championship or the World Cup, if they have not done so via the usual method. In 2018/19, for example, four teams from each league who had not already qualified for the European Championship competed in their league’s playoffs. After winning a semi-final and the final of their respective league’s play-offs, Hungary, Slovakia, Scotland and North Macedonia qualified for Euro 2020.

Why Was the Nations League Created?

The primary reason for the creation of the Nations League was to provide European teams with regular, meaningful matches against opponents of a similar standard.

There is something for everyone in this tournament. League A games involving European heavyweights tend to attract the attention of neutrals, but the Nations League has been valuable for sides in League C and League D too. For instance, it has given the likes of San Marino and Andorra an opportunity to take on other minnows, which is far more useful than one-sided contests against Germany or France. The format also provides smaller nations with another potential route into the European Championship and the World Cup, as explained above.

Moreover, players, fans and coaches alike are more engaged by Nations League games than the non-competitive friendlies which clogged up the calendar previously.

How Do You Qualify for the Nations League?

There is no qualification for the Nations League itself; simply being a member of UEFA is sufficient for inclusion in the competition. However, to qualify for the Nations League Finals a team must finish top of one of the four groups in League A, after home and away matches between all group members have been held.

A total of 16 teams participate in League A, which means the vast majority of European nations do not have a chance to reach the Nations League Finals in any given season. The first step towards qualifying for the four-team tournament is therefore to win promotion to League A.

Do Other Continents Have a Nations League?

The CONCACAF Nations League was also launched in 2019 and works in a similar way to UEFA’s version. Forty-one teams participated in the inaugural edition in 2019/20, which was won by the United States. They beat Mexico in the final match of the four-team Finals, with Honduras taking third place and Costa Rica finishing fourth.

What Happens if You Win the UEFA Nations League?

The winners of the UEFA Nations League receive a trophy that weighs 7.5 kilograms and is made of sterling silver. The winners are additionally awarded €10.5m in prize money.

How Can I Watch the Nations League on TV?

Soccer fans based in the United States can watch the UEFA Nations League on fubo TV/Fox Sports.

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Greg Lea

Expert on Soccer

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]

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