The UEFA has transformed what some may see as boring and meaningless international friendlies into a new and exciting tournament, full of Nations League betting opportunities! Our detailed guide below has everything you need to know.
- UEFA Nations League Structure and Format
- Scope of the UEFA Nations League
- Nations League 2022/23 Betting Odds & Predictions
- Nations League 2022/23 Key Dates
- Nations League Betting Tips
- Popular Nations League Betting Markets
- A (Short) History of the Nations League
- Nations League Facts
- Upcoming Sporting Events
- UEFA Nations League Betting FAQs
- ThePuntersPage Final Say
UEFA Nations League Structure and Format
- All 55 teams which form part of UEFA are divided into four separate leagues (A, B, C, and D) according to their UEFA coefficient. The highest-ranked teams will be placed in League A, whilst the lowest-ranked teams will be in League D. Keeping the same format as the previous Nations League, in the 2021/22 edition of the competition, Leagues A, B, and C will each have 16 teams, while League D will have the remaining 7 teams. Although this might not sound like a massive change, it actually increases the number of matches played from 138 up to 168! In addition, VAR technology is still being used for this tournament.
- The 16 teams in each of Leagues A, B, C are then split randomly into four further groups based on ranking order. Each group within each league will consist of four teams. Since there are fewer teams, the seven teams from League D are randomly divided into two groups (one of four and one of three), also based on their rankings.
- Teams will face off in a round-robin format, whereby each will play all the others in their group both home and away. This means that teams in Groups 1-4 from Leagues A-C and Group 1 from League D will play six matches each. However, since the remaining group in League D contains fewer teams, each team will only play four matches.
- The four teams which finish at the top of their groups in League A will move on to the Nations League Finals, which take place the following June. These matches all take place in the same host country and consist of two semi-finals, a third-place playoff, and a final. All matches in the playoffs are straight knockout rounds, and only teams from League A can win the UEFA Nations League.
How Are Rankings Decided?
For the inaugural tournament, teams were ranked based on their UEFA coefficient score following the 2018 FIFA World Cup. For the 2022/23 Nations League, though, the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League overall ranking was used instead. This is where the aspect of promotion and relegation between groups came into play.
Group winners of Leagues B, C, and D were promoted to a higher league, whilst last-placed teams in Leagues A and B were relegated. Since League D had fewer teams, a playoff took place between the teams who finished last in League C to determine who got relegated.
What Are the Implications for Euro 2024?
The European Championship consists of 24 teams, with 20 qualifying for the group stages of the tournament through the specific European Championship Qualifiers (which are separate from the Nations League).
One of the added reasons for creating the UEFA Nations League and ensuring that it is taken seriously is that the remaining four teams for the Euros are chosen as a result of their performance in the Nations League.
These four spots will be determined by a playoff round featuring all the 16 group winners. If a group winner has already qualified for the Euros, then their place in the playoffs will go to the next best ranked team in their league.
Each league has its own path, meaning that one team from each league will end up in the group stages of the UEFA European Championship.
As a further incentive, all teams receive some prize money for competing in the UEFA Nations League, with each group winner receiving an additional bonus. Teams reaching the playoffs will also receive extra financial rewards depending on how far they progress.
|League Winners Bonus
The teams competing in the Finals can then win the below bonuses:
Winner – £5.24M
Runner-Up – £3.93M
3rd Place – £3.05M
4th Place – £2.18M
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Scope of the UEFA Nations League
An international football tournament featuring teams from all across Europe, the UEFA Nations League was designed to replace non-competitive international friendlies whilst simultaneously giving smaller teams a greater chance of qualifying for the European Championship finals (the Euros).
Moreover, the Nations League brings with it literal thousands of new betting opportunities for punters to enjoy.
This year’s Nations League has also given the elite European teams an opportunity to play against other top level national teams in preparations for this years World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
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Nations League 2022/23 Betting Odds & Predictions
Here are the outright winner odds* for the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League:
*Subject to change
With the groups stage coming to a close, the top four teams which will enter the final stage of the competition have been decided. True to the unpredictability of football, only Spain was tipped to top their group prior to the start of the Competition.
Spain and the Netherlands are undoubtedly the tournament favourites with strong, exciting sides capable of making it all the way. Their form could set up a repeat of the 2010 World Cup Final, when Iniesta Fired home a later winner in extra time for Spain.
Italy and Croatia overcame tough opposition to reach the Finals, with few having expected them to reach this stage. They’re here for a reason, though, and should not be counted out of the competition just yet.
Nations League 2022/23 Key Dates
The Nations League will be played between 2nd June 2022 and March 2024, with the finals taking place in June 2023.
Below are the dates scheduled for remaining rounds of Nations League fixtures:
- Nations League Semi-Finals: 14th & 15th June 2023
- Nations League Finals: & 3rd Place: 18th June 2023
- Relegation Play-Outs: 21–23 & 24–26 March 2024
Nations League Betting Tips
We have compiled below a few points to always keep in mind when betting on the Nations League, regardless of which teams are playing or what the matchups are.
With so many teams competing in the Nations League, it is important to research the styles of play, player stats, and form of all the teams which you may not be very familiar with. Remember that players can have a totally different style of play at international level when surrounded by teammates that they don’t usually play with. Additionally, those who usually shine while playing for their club might be overshadowed if they play for a nation that is full of talent, whilst players who normally do not stand out can be stars internationally if they are from a smaller country.
Although UEFA have created several incentives for the Nations League to make competing teams take the tournament more seriously than regular friendlies, this is not always the case. Many top European teams know that they will most likely qualify for the European Championship through the Euro Qualifiers, and won’t feel the need to put too much emphasis on the Nation’s League. At the other end of the spectrum, smaller teams who already have a low chance of progressing to the European Stages also may not put as much effort into the competition. Researching which teams take the tournament seriously can heavily influence your bets.
Making use of the many offers and promotions available on betting sites can take your Nations League bets to the next level by enhancing your winnings. Money-back offers can be especially lucrative, as they give you a chance to minimise your potential losses. Comparing the welcome offers and free bet bonuses of different bookies can also be very useful if you're looking to get the most bang for your buck. Last, but definitely not least, always remember to read the terms and conditions of each promotion before claiming any of these offers.
Popular Nations League Betting Markets
- Outright Winner – Predict the overall winner of the Nation’s League, as well as the winners of each Group and League.
- Top Goal Scorer – With so many players involved, the Top Scorer market is likely to be unpredictable with potentially lucrative odds.
- Both Teams to Score (BTTS) – Betting on both teams to score is a great way of getting a return when you are expecting an exciting match, but feel unsure as to who will come out on top. During the 2020/21 Group Stage matches, both teams managed to score in 44% of the matches played. Given the way Groups are split, group stage matches have a higher probability of being balanced than other competitions such as the World Cup Qualifiers.
- Over/Under Markets – With 409 goals scored in the group (an average of 2.63 27 goals per game), betting on many goals through over/under markets could prove to be especially reliable in this tournament.
- Accumulator Betting – Since Nations League matches take place a few times a year, there will be plenty of games taking place on the same day. Take your bet to the next level by combining your selections into an acca.
A (Short) History of the Nations League
The first edition of the UEFA Nations League began in September 2019, with the finals being held in June 2019. Portugal were the overall winners of the first Nations League, having beaten Netherlands 1-0 in the final.
France prevailed in the second iteration of the Nations League following a thrilling finale to the competition. The World Cup holders overcame a two-goal deficit to beat Belgium in their semi-final tie before they came from behind once more to beat Spain 2-1 in the final.
The idea for the creation of this tournament centred around several different reasons. The Nations League gives a competitive edge to international matches which previously had virtually no importance; it allows top teams to play against each other on a more regular basis, while smaller, less attractive teams can also play regular international football. Moreover, they allow smaller nations to receive high financial benefits from the competition.
- 2011 – Ways of making friendly games more attractive to both teams and supporters are discussed at a UEFA Strategy Meeting in Cyprus.
- 2011-2014 – Top Executive Programme Meetings host talks regarding a possible formation of a new competition.
- March 2014 – The new tournament is unanimously adopted by 54 member associations following Congress in Astana.
- December 2014 – The Nations League format is finalised.
- September 2018 – Opening matches of the tournament take place around Europe.
- June 2019 – Portugal become the inaugural winners of the Nations League.
- September 2020 – Second Nations League gets underway.
- October 2021 – France wins the second iteration of the competition.
- June 2022 – Third Nations Lague get underway.
Nations League Facts
- The first goal ever scored in the Nations League was by Giorgi Chakvetadze, a Georgian midfielder who netted against Kazakhstan.
- There was a total of 333 goals scored in the initial group phase of the inaugural Nations League – an impressive 2.41 goals in each game.
- The finals of the Nations League are held in one of the countries whose team has made it to the finals. Portugal hosted the first Nations League finals, and went on to become champions.
- 382 goals were scored in the second iteration, but there were more matches played. Thus, the scoring rate declined slightly to 2.27 per game.
- Romelu Lukaku and Ferran Torres were the joint-leading scorers in the 2020/21 Nations League, each scoring six times.
- Throughout the group stage, Turkey has scored the most team goals with a whopping 18 goals. Georgia sits in second with 16 goals.
- Only 5 teams have remained unbeaten in the competition. These are the Netherlands, Israel, Iceland (both in the same group), Georgia, and Estonia.
- Haaland and Mitrovic are the tournament top scorers with six goals. Mephis Depay is the top scorer from team who are still in the competition with 3 goals.
- 409 goals have been scored so far with an average of 2.63 goals per game.
Upcoming Sporting Events
UEFA Nations League Betting FAQs
55 teams currently take part in the Nations League.
All the teams are divided into four groups in four leagues, with three or four teams per group.
Apart from bragging rights (of course), the Nations League champions will receive a trophy. One team from each league also gets the chance to qualify for the European Championships.
The Nations League aims to replace the non-competitive international with a more exciting tournament, whilst simultaneously giving lower ranked teams a chance to qualify for the Euros.
You can watch the Nations League live on Sky Sports. England's games are also shown on ITV.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
International friendlies always seem to get in the way of regular club football, resulting in several breaks which disrupt the season. The introduction of the Nations League makes these breaks far more tolerable, as fans are given a competitive tournament which provides more exciting football and more importantly, lots of betting opportunities!