SuperSport secures rights to broadcast Uefa Nations League

Bale and his compatriots were in high spirits ahead of the inaugural UEFA Nations League clash

Bale and his compatriots were in high spirits ahead of the inaugural UEFA Nations League clash

What are the Germany and France squads for the UEFA Nations League opener?

France coach Didier Deschamps says the world champions can not afford any drop in standards as they prepare to launch their UEFA Nations League campaign away to Germany on Thursday.

Die Mannschaft started well by building neatly from the back but France were compact at the back not allowing any penetration. To avoid mismatches the 55 teams have been placed into four divisions according to "UEFA's national association coefficient ranking" (a fancy way of saying seeded according to how good they are, it's not dissimilar to FIFA's ranking system). The twelve top-ranked teams are split into four groups of three.

In practice, what that will probably mean is the four group winners from League D playing off for one spot at the Euros, with a mess of teams from higher up.

"They don't go from one of the World Cup favourites to an average side now, because the main core is still there". However, Low will have to reinvent himself and his team if they are going to beat France. Essentially the minnows of the European game and Kazakhstan - which is certainly not in Europe, it's capital Astana is closer to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia than it is to Moscow! The tournament gives context to global friendlies and it also partially contributes to the process of qualification for the 2020 Euros.

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The competition will largely replace global friendly matches now played on the FIFA worldwide Match Calendar.

The first ever goal of the new Nations League was a stunner, scored by Giorgi Chakvetadze in distant Astana, as Georgia beat Kazakhstan 2-0 in Group 1 of League D.

The system is a little messed up in the fact that the Nations League starts now (in its group stage), and is interspersed with the traditional European Championship qualification phase (March-November 2019).

The Nations League overall champion has no guaranteed place at Euro 2020. We have important fixtures ahead with the Nations League, and we will prepare the team for the challenge. It's similar to a repéchage in rowing - the best placed of those who failed to qualify will get a second bite at it.

Four teams from every league will be promoted while another four teams will be relegated. France and Germany headline League A's first of four three-team groups, along with the Netherlands, and are coming off polar opposite summers.

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