Nations League 2022/23: All you need to know

Format, draw, fixture schedule - and what about Euro 2024? Check out our tournament guide to the UEFA Nations League.

The football season may be about to end but the new Nations League campaign is only just beginning.

International football returns on June 1 with the third edition of the UEFA competition first launched in 2018 getting under way.

It has taken on more importance given the forthcoming World Cup in November and December - the six Nations League games are all England have left before facing Iran in their opening match in Qatar on November 21.

The first four matches will take place in June with the last two, which conclude the Nations League group stage, scheduled for September.

Here's all you need to know about the tournament, courtesy of Andy Schooler...

What is the format of the 2022/23 Nations League?

Andorra Qualifier Nov21

A total of 55 countries will compete in the third edition of the UEFA Nations League.

As in the 2018/19 and 2020/21 tournaments, the teams have been divided into four 'leagues' - League A featuring the highest-ranked teams, including England, and League D involving the lowest-ranked sides, such as San Marino and Andorra.

Each 'league' has been sub-divided into groups. Leagues A-C have four groups, League D two. Every group has four teams, except one in League D which has three.

These round-robin groups will see the teams play each other home and away with the first four rounds of matches taking place in June 2022 and the last two being staged in September 2022. You may notice these dates differ to those used previously - this is due to the winter World Cup taking place in November and December 2022.

The tournament winners can only come from League A. Its four group winners will progress to the Nations League Finals, due to take place in June 2023 and likely to be hosted by one of the four teams who qualify.

Belgium, Netherlands, Poland and Wales have all bid to stage the event. They are all in the same group.

The Finals event will involve two semi-finals, a third-placed play-off and the final.

That's not to say that the teams in Leagues B-D have little to play for. As well as fighting for promotion and against relegation (top team goes up, bottom team goes down), there's the potential to earn a place in the Euro 2024 play-offs (more on that below).

What is the draw for the Nations League?

Italy lift Euro 2020 trophy Jul21

The draw for the group stage of the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League took place at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, on Thursday, December 16.

A seeding system was in place for each 'league' draw with the teams divided into four pots based on their finishing position in the 2020/21 Nations League.

Due to England finishing only third in their group in that edition of the tournament, Gareth Southgate's side found themselves in pot three.

The top seeds were holders France, Spain, European champions Italy and Belgium.

The teams were drawn as follows:

Republic of Ireland Scotland Jun15

League A:

Group 1 - France, Denmark, Croatia, Austria

Group 2 - Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Czech Republic

Group 3 - Italy, Germany, England, Hungary

Group 4 - Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, Wales

League B:

Group 1 - Ukraine, Scotland, Republic of Ireland, Armenia

Group 2 - Iceland, Russia (since banned), Israel, Albania

Group 3 - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Romania, Montenegro

Group 4 - Sweden, Norway, Serbia, Slovenia

League C:

Group 1 - Turkey, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Faroe Islands

Group 2 - Northern Ireland, Greece, Kosovo, Cyprus

Group 3 - Slovakia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan

Group 4 - Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Georgia, Gibraltar

League D:

Group 1 - Liechtenstein, Moldova, Andorra, Latvia

Group 2 - Malta, Estonia, San Marino

What is the fixture schedule for the Nations League?

England will open their 2022/23 Nations League campaign in Hungary on June 4 before heading to Germany three days later.

Their highly-anticpated rematch with Italy will come on June 11 with their season ending at home to Hungary on June 14. Both matches will be staged at Wolves' Molineux ground, although the former will be staged without fans as England serve a one-game stadium ban for events surrounding the Euro 2020 final.

Southgate's side will head to Italy on September 23 before their group campaign ends on September 26 at home to the Germans - it should be quite a World Cup send-off at Wembley.

Scotland and Wales' fixtures both had to be tweaked following the delays in the World Cup qualifying process.

The full updated fixture list for the Home Nations is as follows:

England

Jun 4 - Hungary A; Jun 7 - Germany A; Jun 11 - Italy H; Jun 14 - Hungary H; Sep 23 - Italy A; Sep 26 - Germany H

Scotland

Jun 8 - Armenia H; Jun 11 - Rep of Ireland A; Jun 14 - Armenia A; Sep 21 - Ukraine H; Sep 24 - Rep of Ireland H; Sep 27 - Ukraine A

Wales

Jun 1 - Poland A; Jun 8 - Netherlands H; Jun 11 - Belgium H; Jun 14 - Netherlands A; Sep 22 - Belgium A; Sep 25 - Poland H

Northern Ireland

Jun 2 - Greece H; Jun 5 - Cyprus A; Jun 9 - Kosovo A; Jun 12 - Cyprus H; Sep 24 - Kosovo H; Sep 27 - Greece A

Will Euro 2024 places be at stake in the Nations League?

North Macedonia fans Euro 2020 Jun21

The basic answer to this question is, yes, although not directly.

Three teams will qualify for Euro 2024 via the play-offs and the nations playing in those will be determined by performance in the 2022/23 Nations League.

Exactly which nations will compete in the play-offs will be decided by what is, it's fair to say, a pretty convoluted set of rules. You can read them by clicking here.

However, it's also fair to say that the better you do in the Nations League, the greater your chance of reaching the play-offs.

The play-offs will have a similar format to those recently used in European World Cup qualifying - three 'paths' will be created, each involving four teams. There will be two semi-finals and a final in each path.

This system contrasts with that used for Euro 2020 when the Nations League was responsible for providing all 16 teams for the play-offs.

It was a format which was widely welcomed, particularly by Europe's smaller nations. It meant one of the teams in League D was guaranteed a place at Euro 2020. In the end, that team was North Macedonia.

However, with League D of the Nations League now smaller than it was four years ago, a 'minnow' is not guaranteed a Finals place in 2024 and may not even provide a team for the play-offs.

How can I watch the 2022/23 Nations League on TV?

It's all change to the Nations League TV deal for the 2022/23 edition with Sky Sports no longer holding the UK rights.

Instead, the rights have been split with England games being shown exclusively live on Channel 4.

Wales fans will also still get to see their team in action on free-to-air television with their matches on S4C.

However, the rights to the majority of Nations League games are now owned by subscription service Premier Sports, whose channels are available via the Sky and Virgin Media platforms and online.

If you want to watch Scotland and Northern Ireland matches - and indeed other key contests such as Italy v Germany in England's group - you'll need to hold a Premier Sports subscription (from £9.99 month).

Who are the reigning UEFA Nations League champions?

France Nations League winners Oct21

France. The world champions added the Nations League trophy to their cabinet in October 2021, beating Spain 2-1 in the final thanks to a late goal from Kylian Mbappe.

2022/23 UEFA Nations League key dates

Matchdays 1 & 2 - June 1-8, 2022

Matchdays 3 & 4 - June 9-14, 2022

Matchdays 5 & 6 - September 22-27, 2022

Semi-finals: June 14-15, 2023

Final (and 3rd place play-off): June 18, 2023

Play-outs: March 21-26, 2024

READ MORE: Our guide to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

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