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UEFA Nations League Winner Predictions, Odds, Picks 2024

Written by: Greg Lea
Updated June 1, 2023
12 min read
  • The UEFA Nations League 2022/23 is the third edition of the European tournament
  • Four teams will contest the Finals after finishing top of their League A groups
  • France are the current holders but they cannot claim the trophy this time

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.

Fifty-five European nations took part in the competition, and only four are left standing. The Nations League Finals will be held in the Netherlands in June - but which of the four participants will come out on top?

UEFA Nations League 2022/23 Odds

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National League Finals Winner

Who Will Win the UEFA Nations League 2022/23?

The Netherlands are the favorites to win the UEFA Nations League 2022/23 with the best online sportsbooks. They are the hosts and are also considered to have the easiest semi-final against Croatia.

That will not necessarily be an easy game, though. Croatia reached the semi-finals of World Cup 2022 after knocking out Brazil in the quarter-finals.

Spain and Italy will contest the other semi-final. They memorably locked horns in the semi-finals of Euro 2020, with Italy edging out la Roja on penalties after a close match. The sportsbooks give Spain a slight edge this time.

Who Were the UEFA Nations League 2020/21 Winners?

France were the winners of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League. They topped their League A group ahead of Portugal, Croatia and Sweden, before beating Belgium and Spain in the Finals. However, France will no longer be the holders after June 18.

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.

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UEFA Nations League Winner FAQ

How Do You Qualify for the Nations League?

Do Other Continents Have a Nations League?

What Happens if You Win the UEFA Nations League?

How Can I Watch the Nations League on TV?

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Greg Lea

786 Articles

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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