As we head into the international break, we will see the European nations back in action in the UEFA Nations League fixtures. With exciting scenarios in every league of every group, here are the top five fixtures that are exciting and promising of some great action.
Germany vs Hungary – League A Group 3
When the groups came out of the pot, Hungary was seen as the underdogs. However, it is anything but, as they stay on top of the group with seven points. Hungary heads into its fixture with Germany with two wins, one draw and one loss. Germany on the other hand has Italy to worry about who is breathing down their necks with only a point to separate them. The former world champions must overcome the league leaders to keep their Nations League hopes alive. It will be interesting to see how the top two of this group will fare against each other.
Netherlands vs Poland – League A Group 4
One of the most looked forward to international fixtures is the Netherlands vs Poland. The Dutchmen are unbeaten so far in the Nations League group stages, standing first with 10 points. While Poland has had poor results so far with a win, a draw and two losses. Poland sits third on the table with four points. This fixture is more crucial for the White and Red than the Oranje as three points will help them gain momentum in the Nations League qualification.
Belgium vs Wales – League A Group 4
The other fixture of this group is Belgium vs Wales. Belgium stands second in the group stage with seven points (2 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw) whereas Wales, who very recently qualified for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 64 years, find themselves at the bottom of the table with no wins. For Wales to have any chance of making it through, they have to win their remaining fixtures, hoping the results elsewhere work in their favour. For Belgium however, things will look good if they beat Wales and Poland conceded to league leaders the Netherlands.
Italy vs England – League A Group 3
Tension is galore in this fixture as England still carries the bitter taste that Italy left in their mouths in the 2020 UEFA Euros final. That tackle on Bukayo Saka by Giorgio Chiellini and the penalty miss by Saka are some memories that still haunt the British. Looking at their current state, it looks like a very steep slope to climb for Gareth Southgate’s men in the UEFA Nations League. England so far has lost two, drawn two and stands at the bottom with just two points. To qualify for the Nations League, England will have to win their remaining fixtures and hope for Italy and Germany to lose. As of now, they need to make amends and beat Italy first.
France vs Austria – League A Group 1
France, the reigning world champions and the current Nations League champions, are at the bottom of their group, winless. With two draws and two losses to show for, the Frenchmen have been bested by the likes of Denmark and the 2018 World Cup runner ups Croatia. France, with some of the world’s best players, has failed to make the cut with just two games remaining. With two points in hand, they need all six points out of the possible six and pray for Croatia and Austria to lose their remaining fixtures, to finish second and reach the next round of the Nations League. To see smaller teams outperform the world champs as well as the defending champs of the tournament is something no one foresaw or even thought of. It will be instructive to see how Didier Deschamps will act on it.
VISIT OUR BLOG TO GET YOUR FIX FOR ALL OF THE MOST CURRENT FOOTBALL NEWS STORIES & FEATURES