Belfast Telegraph

All you need to know about the UEFA Nations League: What is it and how will it impact qualification for Euro 2020?

Northern Ireland find out who they will face in the UEFA Nations League this morning at 11am.

Here's all you need to know about the competition:

What do the leagues look like after the draw?

Have a look at it all in full right here:

What is the Nations League?

It is a new international competition which will replace most friendlies with competitive matches.

The Nations League is designed to allow teams to play against those who are equally ranked. It is made up of four mini-leagues, which each contain four groups.

There is also the chance to qualify for Euro 2020 with the play-offs for the tournament due to involve the 16 Nations League group winners.

What's that about Euro 2020 qualification?

OK so in the normal Euro 2020 qualification process, there will be 10 groups. Top two from each group qualify. Simples.

But that leaves four more places. That's where the Nations League comes in. The group winners all make it to the Euro 2020 play-offs (unless they've already qualified through normal qualification, then the group runner up gets a chance). Each particular league has its own play-off system of single-leg semi-finals and a final. So one team from each of the four Leagues will qualify for Euro 2020. Still with us? Good.

Still not making sense?

Maybe this video can do a better job?

What's the point of winning your group?

The four group winners of League A qualify for the UEFA Nations League Finals in June 2019 to decide the overall winner.

The group winners of Leagues B, C and D are promoted but those who finish bottom of A, B and C will be relegated. The next season is 2020/21.

When are the matches?

There are 138 league fixtures which start with match day one between September 6th and 8th 2018. Teams will play each other home and away before the draw for the finals in December. Those finals, which include semi-finals and a third-placed game, will be held between June 5th-9th, 2019.

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