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UEFA Nations League: What to look out for on Friday

Hungary could secure place in the UEFA Nations League finals, while England must win to avoid the drop.

Reece James and Eric Dier share a joke in training, but England have less to smile about
Reece James and Eric Dier share a joke in training, but England have less to smile about Getty Images

The third edition of the UEFA Nations League is well under way. With four matchdays already played, Matchday 5 is in full swing, with one last matchday to go ahead of the finals in June 2023.

UEFA.com assesses the lie of the land ahead of Friday's Matchday 5 encounters.

All the Nations League fixtures

Friday 23 September
Group A3 Italy vs England
Group A3 Germany vs Hungary
Group B3 Finland vs Romania
Group B3 Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Montenegro
Group C4 Bulgaria vs Gibraltar 
Group C4 Georgia vs North Macedonia (18:00)
Group D2 Estonia vs Malta (18:00)

All kick-off times 20:45 CET unless stated

Hungary and Germany vying for finals berth

Highlights: Hungary 1-1 Germany

Both teams come into this game on the back of resounding victories in their most recent group games: Germany cruised to a 5-2 win over a youthful Italy, while Hungary stunned EURO 2020 finalists England with a hugely impressive 4-0 triumph at Molineux.

Another win for Group A3 leaders Hungary in Leipzig could book their place at next year's finals – provided Italy fail to beat England. Victory for Hansi Flick's team, currently in second place, would leave Die Mannschaft in pole position for a first ever finals tournament spot.

Key stat: Only Turkey's Serdar Dursun has registered more attempts on target in this season's tournament than Hungary forward Roland Sallai (eight).

Relegation a reality for England

Highlights: England 0-0 Italy

England's defeat by Hungary in June was the Three Lions' heaviest home loss since 1928 and extended their winless run to four matches – their longest barren spell since 2014 – making relegation from the top tier a real possibility.

Italy currently occupy third place but remain just two points behind leaders Hungary, whom they beat 2-1 on home soil. The Azzurri, victors in the third-place play-off in 2021, will be eager to banish memories of their 5-2 reverse in Mönchengladbach by claiming a potentially crucial victory.

Key stat: England had not conceded more than once in 25 games prior to their 4-0 defeat by Hungary.

Nations League standings

Elsewhere on Friday

• Bosnia and Herzegovina narrowly lead Group B3 but can seal their promotion if they beat Montenegro, who are hot on their heels just a point behind.

• Unbeaten Georgia only need to avoid defeat against second-placed North Macedonia to clinch promotion from League C, while their opponents must win to stay in contention.

• Promotion is possible for Group D2 leaders Estonia if they avoid defeat against Malta, who are in second and level on points.

Key dates

Matchdays 5 & 6: 22–27 September 2022
Finals draw: tbc
Semi-finals: 14 & 15 June 2023
Final & third-place match: 18 June 2023
Play-outs: 21–23 & 24–26 March 2024

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