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Nations League: Outright Preview

30 May 2022 06:19:43 EST
Didier Deschamps has talent at his disposal

The third instalment of the UEFA Nations League begins on 1st June and it promises to be another exciting edition of the international competition.

Portugal won the inaugural tournament in 2019 and they are 4.50 to win back the trophy from holders France, who overcame Spain 2-1 in last year's final and are 10/3 to become the first multiple winner of the event.

A total of 16 teams have the opportunity to claim the spoils, including the likes of 12122.00 England and 7.00 Italy, while there is also promotion and relegation across all four Leagues (A, B, C and D) to keep things competitive.

There is also the small matter of three Euro 2024 spots up for grabs via the play-offs of the Nations League, with Leagues A, B and C allocated one of the three remaining group stages places for the tournament in Germany.

Les Bleus expected to make finals again

World champions France have been drawn in League A Group 1 alongside Denmark, Croatia and Austria, who earned promotion from League B.

Didier Deschamps' men will be hoping to make up for a poor Euro 2020 campaign, which they were knocked out at the last-16 stage, but they should have enough quality to come through their pool.

Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann are just three attacking options at the manager's disposal, while there is strength in depth across all areas of the squad and France are 12122.00 to win Group 1.

Les Bleus open up with a home clash against Denmark on Friday and the hosts are 1.50 to get off to a winning start, while the draw is priced at 4.20 and the visitors are 6.00 to triumph.

Spain looking to go one better

There was almost a first Nations League trophy for Spain last year, as they came up just short against France, but Luis Enrique's men will be confident of having another crack at the crown.

La Roja have been drawn alongside Portugal, Switzerland and the Czech Republic in Group 2 and given the amount of talent the 2021 runners-up have in their squad - most notably Barcelona's rising star Gavi - they could go deep in this tournament again.

Enrique's men are on a four-game winning streak heading into their first clash at home to Portugal on Thursday and the hosts are 2.10 to pick up the win, while the draw is 3.40 and the Selecao are 3.30.

The 2019 champions will always pose a threat though, given the fact they still have Cristiano Ronaldo leading the line, and they travel to Seville on the back of victories over Turkey and North Macedonia.

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Three Lions face tough ask

Group 3 in League A has the potential to be a really competitive pool, with European champions Italy and runners-up England drawn alongside Germany and Hungary.

It has been a disappointing time for Die Mannschaft in terms of silverware, having last won the World Cup in 2014, but they now have Hansi Flick in charge and they are on a nine-game unbeaten run right now.

Germany begin their quest for glory with a trip to Italy on Saturday and the visitors are 1.85 to come away with all three points, while the draw is priced at 3.75 and the hosts are 3.80.

Elsewhere, England, also unbeaten in nine, kick off with a trip to Hungary on the same evening and Gareth Southgate's side are currently 1.45 to claim the spoils against the 7.50 hosts. The draw is available at 4.00.

Wales defying expectations

Wales continues to prove the doubters wrong after they earned a spot in League A Group 4 after earning promotion from League B, but they face a stiff challenge not to be relegated after drawing Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland.

The Red Devils finished fourth in last year's edition, losing out to Italy on that occasion, but there have been changes in the squad to breathe fresh life into it and this could help in their quest for glory.

A huge meeting against the Netherlands is up first for Belgium on Friday and Roberto Martinez's side are 2.40 to win on home soil, while the draw is priced at 3.60 and the Dutch are 2.70 to triumph.

League spots up for grabs

The winners of each Group in League B will earn promotion to the League above them and there is an interesting quartet that have been drawn together in Group 1, with Ukraine, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Armenia facing off.

It's the same story in League C, with the winners of each group earning promotion to the league above them, although the sides that end up bottom will go into the relegation play-offs.

In League D, there is only promotion to play for, with Group 1 involving Liechtenstein, Moldova, Andorra and Latvia, while Group 2 has Malta, Estonia and San Marino in it.

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