The UEFA Nations League 2018/19 League Phase Draw will be streamed live on UEFA.com from 12:00CET on Wednesday 24 January – here's all you need to know.
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The League Phase draw for the inaugural UEFA Nations League is nearly upon us – make sure you've swotted up before 12:00CET on Wednesday 24 January.
What is the UEFA Nations League?
UEFA's new national team competition replaces most friendlies with competitive matches, allowing nations to play against equally ranked teams. The four group winners of the top-ranked League A qualify for the UEFA Nations League finals in June 2019. For the remaining sides there is promotion and relegation to play for, not to mention a potential route to UEFA EURO 2020.
Who can teams face?
The 55 associations have been split into four Leagues according to their position in the UEFA National Team Coefficient Rankings (1–12 in League A, 13–24 in League B, 25–39 in League C, 40–55 in League D). Within each League teams have been subdivided into three (for Leagues A and B) or four (Leagues C and D) pots, again according to the rankings.
How does the draw work?
The draw starts with League D and Pot 4, which contains four balls, with teams assigned to groups in ascending order from D1 to D4. The draw continues with Pot 3, then Pot 2 and Pot 1. The draws for the other Leagues follow a similar procedure, though Group C1 will not contain a team from Pot 4, while Leagues B and A will be made up of three-team groups.
Are there any restrictions?
The following teams cannot be drawn in the same group:
League B: Ukraine / Russia
League D: Armenia / Azerbaijan
How do the Leagues work?
Teams play each other home and away, with the four group winners of League A qualifying for the UEFA Nations League Finals in June 2019 that feature semi-finals, a third-place match and the final. The group winners in Leagues B, C and D gain promotion and those who finish bottom of the groups in Leagues A, B and C will be relegated. The next season is 2020/21.
Where does UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying fit into this?
EURO qualifying initially remains largely the same, at least until the play-off round. Previously contested by teams finishing third in their group, now that stage will involve the 16 UEFA Nations League group winners (or, if they have already qualified, the next best ranked team in their league – the video explains it best).
Each League has a path of its own, and will consist of two single-leg semi-finals and a one-off final. The winner of each path wins a ticket to UEFA EURO 2020!
When do the matches and finals take place?
UEFA will confirm the 138 League phase fixtures, with dates and kick-off times, as soon as possible after the draw. Matchweeks are below, though obviously teams in Leagues A and B only play on four of them – they will have friendlies on the other dates.
Matchday 1: 6–8 September 2018
Matchday 2: 9–11 September 2018
Matchday 3: 11–13 October 2018
Matchday 4: 14–16 October 2018
Matchday 5: 15–17 November 2018
Matchday 6: 18–20 November 2018
Finals draw: tbc
Finals: 5–9 June 2019
UEFA EURO 2020 play-off draw: 22 November 2019
UEFA EURO 2020 play-offs: 26–31 March 2020