Tag Archives: UEFA Nations League

Shortest turnaround in football history, but are players benefiting from this?

It is already looking like we could be set for the shortest season ever in football history.

When you consider we had to wait patiently for 100 days before we saw a ball kicked, we are now seeing matches played almost every day.

There are likely to be seven weeks between the end of this Premier League season and the start of the next one. In that time there will be only eight days without games in eight selected tournaments.

The Premier League will finish this weekend, with the Championship play-off semi-final matches being played later that week.

The FA Cup final is on the 1st August, which remarkably will be on the same day as the 2020-21 Scottish Premiership begins. It seems like only yesterday that their season re commenced. Wow doesn’t time fly in football!

The Championship play-off final is on the 4th August with Europa League last 16 ties resuming 24 hours later.

Manchester City and Chelsea play their Champions League last 16 second legs on the following two days. The Champions League final will be held on the 23rd August.

Now, who remembers the Nations League? Yes, I thought so, well the good news is it is back again, 11 days after the Champions League final.

The Premier League is, meanwhile, reportedly due to start on the 12th September.

This is great news for the fans watching but surely not for the players. Premier League and Championship players have been forced to return back.  After the restart there were genuine fears for fitness levels of players having to perform for their clubs in such a short tight schedule.

When the Bundesliga returned fitness levels of players was under question. Admittedly, after the first few weeks of the restart few players were getting injured or suffering cramp. The real test was to come when the Premiership restarted on the 20th June.

In terms of the fitness levels of players involved in the Premier League and Championship it has to be said it has been encouraging, with few major worries.

However, having to cram so many games into such a short space of time before a break of a few weeks before next season will hit us. I am sure this won’t benefit anybody at all.

To ask players at any level to play almost a whole year with just a few weeks break will inevitably mean more injuries next season.

Players welfare has to be taken very seriously indeed, otherwise we are going to lose a crop of outstanding young talent along with the cream of the league to the treatment tables and players will get burned out and lose their appetite for the game. This certainly would not be good for football.

2020-21 UEFA Nations League draw announced

The UEFA’s Nation League announced their draw for the second edition of the tournament on March 3 in Amsterdam.

With 55 associations as part of UEFA, they are split into four Leagues based on their position in the UEFA National Team Coefficient Rankings. Sixteen nations will be competing in Leagues A through C while only seven compete in League D.

There are some intriguing matchups in the group stage for the competition, specifically for those who are in League A. 

For Group 1, the Netherlands, who finished as the runners-up in the inaugural edition, face off against Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Poland. 

In Group 2, England will face off against Belgium, who they lost to in the 2018 FIFA World Cup third-place match, Denmark, and Iceland, the surprise of the 2016 European Championship.

Group 3 consists of a rematch of the 2016 European Championship final as Portugal, who won the UEFA Nations League last year, battle France, the 2018 FIFA World Cup champions. Sweden and  Croatia, the runners-up in the 2018 FIFA World Cup are also in the group.

Rounding off League A, Group 4 contains Spain, Germany, Switzerland, who finished fourth in the competition last year, and Ukraine. 

The league phase was set to begin in early September, However due to the corona virus outbreak no dates are now known, If this edition is anything like the inaugural one, football fans are in for a treat.

League B is where we find the other Home Nations with Wales and the Republic of Ireland drawn together in Group 4 alongside Finland and Bulgaria.  Northern Ireland are in Group 1 alongside Austria, Norway and Romania. Scotland meanwhile will face Czech Republic, Slovakia and Israel. The remaining Group contains Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Hungary.