Friday, 24 September 2021

Potential Nations League Opponents for Croatia Revealed

September 24, 2021 - Potential Nations League opponents for Croatia have been revealed, while the groups for the 3rd edition of the competition will be decided in a draw on December 16. 

UEFA has announced the strongest groups for the upcoming Nations League draw on December 16 in Montreux, Switzerland, reports T.portal.

The Croatia national football team is still in the strongest, League A of the UEFA Nations League, and to start, Croatia has at least found out which three national teams they certainly cannot meet in the group stage. 

The plan is for the Nations League matches to be played in June and September next year, primarily because the World Cup in Qatar will be played in late winter, through November and December.

Croatia has thus been placed in the Group C draw group with England, Poland, and Switzerland.

But who does that leave as Croatia's potential opponents?

From Group A, Croatia can face France, Belgium, Italy, and Spain, in Group B, Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany, while from Group D, Croatia can play against Wales, Austria, the Czech Republic, or Hungary.

The winners of the UEFA Nations League will play the Final Four tournament in June 2023. They will also have a place in the additional qualifiers for Euro 2024 if they do not qualify for that competition through regular qualifiers.

The last national teams from each of the four League A groups are relegated to League B.

Nations League draw groups (December 16):

Group A: France, Belgium, Italy, Spain
Group B: Portugal, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany
Group C: CROATIA, England, Poland, Switzerland
Group D: Wales, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary

Nations League 2022/'23:

Round 1: June 2-4, 2022
Round 2: June 5 to 7, 2022
Round 3: June 9-11, 2022
Round 4: June 12-14, 2022
Round 5: September 22-24, 2022
Round 6: September 25-27, 2022

Recall, Croatia still has to finish up their 2022 World Cup qualifiers this year, with two games next month against Cyprus away and Slovakia at home. After that, Croatia completes their qualifying campaign in November against Malta away and Russia at Poljud. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Croatia Remains in Elite Group of UEFA Nations League after Format Change

September 25, 2019 - Although the Croatia national team was relegated to League B of the UEFA Nations League last year, a format change keeps them with the elite teams in the competition. 

A meeting of the UEFA Executive Board was held in Ljubljana on Tuesday, deciding that the Elite group of of the Nations League (League A) would be expanded to 16 teams instead of the previous 12 national teams.

Thus, Croatia will remain in the highest-ranking group,  irrespective of the fact that they placed last when they were grouped with England and Spain. Recall, Croatia opened the Nations League last year with a 6:0 loss to Spain, and drew against England in Rijeka behind closed doors. Croatia then fantastically topped Spain in Zagreb 3:2, and lost 2:1 to England at Wembley. 

“The UEFA Nations League will have a new league structure comprising 16 teams in Leagues A, B and C and 7 teams in League D, as of the 2020/21 edition. The teams are allocated to leagues based on the overall ranking following the 2018/19 inaugural UEFA Nations League.

This change to the format follows a consultation process which involved all of UEFA's 55 national associations and reflects upon their desire to further minimise the number of friendly matches.

In addition, it enhances sporting fairness as all teams in the same group will play their last match on the same day and at the same time,” writes UEFA

In addition to Croatia, who will again play against Europe's strongest teams, Germany, Poland and Iceland will remain in League A, though they should have also been relegated. It is not yet decided what exactly the Nations League standings will mean for the 2022 World Cup, but that should be known soon.

The teams will be divided into four groups of four teams, and the group winners will compete in the Nations League final tournament (semifinal, match for third place and the final) in June 2021. The group draw is scheduled for March 3, 2020, in Amsterdam. The competition itself will start in the autumn of 2020 and will be played in September, October, and November.

Nations League Groups:

League A: Croatia, Germany, Poland, Iceland, Sweden, Ukraine, Denmark, Portugal, Netherlands, BiH, England, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy.

League B: Russia, Austria, Wales, Czech Republic, Scotland, Norway, Serbia, Finland, Slovakia, Turkey, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Israel, Hungary, Romania.

League C: Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Georgia, Northern Macedonia, Kosovo, Belarus, Cyprus, Estonia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova

League D: Gibraltar, Faroe Islands, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Malta and San Marino.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page