How Uefa Nations League finals will look in 2021 with Germany, Spain, France and Holland in contention after England KO
ENGLAND officially failed to qualify for the Nations League finals after slumping to a 2-0 loss to Belgium on Sunday.
The Three Lions had hoped to make it back-to-back appearances at the finals after making it in 2019.
That year, Gareth Southgate and Co lost to Holland in the semi-finals, with Portugal beating the Dutchmen in the final.
England finished third after beating Switzerland in the playoff match.
But they won't be in next year's finals after recent losses to Belgium and Denmark.
While the Three Lions won't be appearing in next October's mini-tournament, there are still a number of teams who can still qualify.
We take a look at who's already in, who's out and who's been relegated to Group B, but first…
WHAT'S THE FORMAT?
THE Nations League is currently split into four tiers – Leagues A, B, C and D.
Europe's elite go into League A, with the divisions getting gradually weaker until you reach League D, featuring the likes of San Marino and Liechtenstein.
Here, we'll focus on League A and the permutations.
League A is split into four groups, with the 16 teams originally split into four pots of seeds based on their world ranking.
One team from each pot of seeds are drawn into four groups; A1, A2, A3 and A4.
In each group, it's fairly simple: the team finishing top advances to the finals and the team in last place get relegated to League B.
Second and third in each group fail to advance to the finals but maintain their League A status.
Now, let's take a look at who's in, who's out and who's staying put…
Teams: Italy, Holland, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Already qualified: None
Who can still qualify for finals: Italy, Holland, Poland
Relegated to Group B: Bosnia and Herzegovina
THERE'S still everything to play for in group A1 going into the final round of fixtures.
Bosnia and Herzegovina are officially relegated – but the other THREE teams can still qualify for the finals.
Italy sit top on nine points and are favourites to qualify, taking on Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday.
Holland are currently second on eight points with Poland on seven.
They go head-to-head on Wednesday still hoping Italy drop points.
Should Italy lose, whoever wins between Holland and Poland will reach the finals.
A draw will be enough for Italy if Poland win – thanks to the Italians boasting the better head-to-head record thanks to Sunday's 2-0 win.
But a draw for Italy and a Holland win would mean the Dutch progress.
Should Italy win, they qualify regardless of the Poland vs Holland game.
Teams: Belgium, Denmark, England, Iceland
Already qualified: None
Who can still qualify for finals: Belgium, Denmark
Relegated to Group B: Iceland
AS we all know, England are now out of contention after losing to Belgium.
With one game to go, Belgium have 12 points, Denmark have ten, England have seven, while Iceland – officially relegated – have failed to pick up a single point.
England host Iceland while Denmark travel to Belgium for the final round of fixtures, meaning the scenario is simple.
England vs Iceland is a dead-rubber.
Regardless of the result, Iceland will still be relegated and England can't progress.
A draw between Belgium and Denmark will see Kevin De Bruyne and Co reach the finals.
A Belgium win will see them through, too.
But a win for Denmark will ensure the Danes reach the final four next year.
Teams: France, Portugal, Croatia, Sweden
Already qualified: France
Who can still qualify for finals: None
Relegated to Group B: None (Croatia or Sweden)
FRANCE'S win over Portugal on Saturday ensured they qualified for the finals regardless of what happens in their final game.
The French sit just three points above Cristiano Ronaldo and Co and with a lower goal difference.
But with a draw and a win from their two games, France clinch the tie-breaker based on their head-to-head record.
Portugal, though, are at least safe from relegation.
Sweden and Croatia are the two teams facing the drop to League B, both on three points.
Croatia host Portugal while Sweden face a tricky test away to France – both on Tuesday.
To complicate matters further, both Sweden and Croatia won their home matches against each other 2-1 – meaning their head-to-head record is identical.
Should both teams win, draw or lose – ending on the same points tally – it will go down to goal difference.
Both Sweden and Croatia currently have a goal difference of -6, so a draw – or win/loss by the same margin – will mean it then goes down to goals scored.
Croatia have scored seven to Sweden's three, meaning the they are marginally in the driving seat.
Therefore, Sweden cannot simply match Croatia's result and scoreline, they must better them.
A draw – or a win/loss by the same margin as Sweden – would be enough for Croatia to avoid relegation.
Teams: Germany, Spain, Ukraine, Switzerland
Already qualified: None
Who can still qualify for finals: Germany, Spain
Relegated to Group B: None (Ukraine or Switzerland)
THE final round of matches in the A4 group promise to be enthralling.
Spain host Germany in the fight for the top spot – and a place in the finals – while Ukraine travel to Switzerland in the relegation game.
With the group entirely split into two, the scenarios are fairly simple – at least for the leading pack.
Germany – incredibly the bottom seeds of their group – lead Spain by a single point.
That means, a draw would be enough for the Germans to progress to next year's finals, with Spain needing to win.
In the other game, Ukraine sit three points ahead of the Swiss – having won their match-up 2-1 earlier in the group.
Switzerland boast a better goal difference at just -2 compared to Ukraine's -5.
That means a 1-0 win will be enough for the Swiss after going into the FOURTH level of the tiebreakers – goals scored AWAY in the head-to-head.
Should Switzerland win 2-1, it would then go to the FIFTH tiebreaker level – overall goal difference, which would see the Swiss progress.
Therefore, Ukraine will need a win or draw to progress, with a Switzerland win enough for them to go through.
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