League of Nations: Who is qualified, who rises and who descends
The new UEFA competition is in the pipeline and much remains to be decided.
The first phase of the League of Nations is very close to finishing. With one more round to play (two in groups with four selections), there are several groups whose end is already announced. However, only one selection has the passport in hand for the final four. Yes, our national team. Portugal is now waiting for the remaining three finalists in a four-a-side final that will be played on Portuguese soil and will be split between the Estádio do Dragão and Estádio D. Afonso Henriques.
But let’s go in parts. Or rather, by groups. This is the situation for the four teams from the four leagues of this new UEFA competition.
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In this group, the main highlight goes to the poor performance of Germany. The Germans have already been ‘condemned’ to the descent into League B after the triumph of the Netherlands against France. The presence in the final is in the hands of the Dutch selection renewal. If Germany wins it travels to Portugal in June, otherwise it will go to France, current world champion.
Here things are also practically defined. Iceland is down from division and the finalist for the final four will be decided between Belgium and Switzerland.
The group from Portugal is the only one that is already totally ‘tidy’. The national team is in the final four, Italy remains in this league and Poland goes down to the second tier.
Nothing is decided here. At this moment Croatia is the last place, with four points and against England, also with four points. It is in this game that all doubts will be undone. Spain is a leader, but you have to wait for what will happen. If they tie, the Spaniards go to the final. Whoever loses, falls out of the division.
Ukraine has already secured ‘promotion’ to League A, although they have lost to Slovakia. The Slovaks will have a crucial duel for their stay in Liga B against the Czech Republic. To be in the same category, Slovakia has to win, as a defeat or a draw favours the Czechs.
Russia has virtually secured a place in League A, but Sweden, who have beaten Turkey and condemned the Turks to the downhill, still have a say. Russia has one foot on the A-rank, but if they lose they stay in the same division.
Bosnia has ten points and is already guaranteed a place in League A. Northern Ireland goes down to League C and Austria is in League B.
Everything settled here. Denmark has already secured a raise to League A and Ireland is down to League C. Wales will have to make do with staying.
Albania has already been condemned to descent. Israel and Scotland add the same points and will face each other to decide who goes up. At this moment, the difference of goals gives an advantage to the Scots.
In a group with four teams, Finland is already in league B. It adds 12 points, has three more than Greece and better goal difference. Hungary has secured the permanence and Estonia goes down to step D.
Slovenia is in the last position and is already condemned to the descent of division. Cyprus has no way of going up. Norway and Bulgaria lead the group with ten points each. There are still two rounds to be played.
Lithuania has not scored any point and has already gone down. Romania and Serbia vie for access to League B. Romanians need to win their last match and expect the Serbs to be defeated by the Lithuanians.
Georgia has already matched the climb to Liga C mathematically after winning their first four matches and drawing against Andorra. Kazakhstan, Latvia and Andorra no longer fight for anything, since there are no lower echelons.
San Marino can no longer climb. Belarus, Luxembourg and Moldova fight for a place that gives access to League C.
Kosovo and Azerbaijan are struggling for promotion and will face each other on the final day. The first needs a win or a draw. The second really needs the victory. The Faroe Islands and Malta no longer fight for the climb.
Macedonia and Armenia dispute access to Liga C and a possible recap. The Macedonians have more points (12), but they are at a disadvantage in the difference of goals compared to the Armenians. If Armenia defeats Liechtenstein and Macedonia lose to Gibraltar, it is the Armenians who go up.