UEFA Nations League: what to look out for on Matchday 3 | UEFA Nations League
The third edition of the UEFA Nations League is well under way, with two matchdays played and four more to come before the final in June 2023. UEFA.com picks out the highlights of Matchday 3 fixtures.
Thursday June 9
Group A2 Portugal v Czech Republic
Group A2 Switzerland against Spain
Group B4 Norway vs Slovenia
Group B4 Sweden vs Serbia
Group C2 Greece vs Cyprus
Group C2 Kosovo v Northern Ireland
Group C4 Gibraltar v Bulgaria
Group C4 North Macedonia vs Georgia
Group D2 Malta vs Estonia
friday june 10
Group A1 Austria versus France
Group A1 Denmark vs Croatia
Group B2 Albania vs Israel
Group B2 Russia (suspended until further notice) against Iceland
Group C3 Azerbaijan vs Slovakia (18:00)
Group C3 Belarus vs Kazakhstan
Group D1 Moldova vs Latvia (18:00)
Group D1 Andorra v Liechtenstein
Saturday June 11
Group A3 England v Italy
Group A3 Hungary vs Germany
Group A4 Netherlands vs Poland
Group A4 Wales v Belgium
Group B1 Republic of Ireland vs Scotland (18:00)
Group B1 Ukraine vs Armenia (15:00)
Group B3 Montenegro vs Bosnia and Herzegovina
Group B3 Romania vs Finland
Group C1 Faroe Islands vs Lithuania (18:00)
Group C1 Luxembourg v Turkey
All kick-off times 8:45 p.m. CET, unless otherwise stated
Ronaldo catches up with Haaland
Almost 19 years have passed since Cristiano Ronaldo made his international debut in a 1-0 win over Kazakhstan in August 2003, and facing him has become a professional hazard for defenders across Europe. Having struck twice against Switzerland last time out go out for take his phenomenal international total to 117the Czech Republic are next in line: needless to say, the big No.7 has scored in his previous two encounters with them.
However, while the 37-year-old remains in his own field in terms of international goals, 21-year-old Erling Haaland says he intends to aim for equally impossible standards. Having already scored three goals in this edition of the UEFA Nations League – to lead the rankings with Serdar Dursun from Türkiye – his Norway tally is now 18 from 19 games.
Slovenia will be looking to end their streak in Oslo, but Haaland is in the mood to score. As he said before these internationals: “If I can boast a bit, if there’s one thing I’m very good at, it’s concentration.”
England and Italy face the EURO final
It was only last summer that England lost to Italy on penalties in the UEFA EURO 2020 final, but as they find themselves (at Molineux rather than Wembley) in the group A3 of the UEFA Nations League, a lot of water has flowed under the bridges. Gareth Southgate’s side kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 defeat in Hungary so what 1-1 draw in Germany.
Southgate’s England remain a work in progress, while Roberto Mancini arguably has an even bigger task as he tries to overhaul his Italian side, with Finalissima’s 3-0 loss to Argentina marking the end of the old guard. “Winning the EURO was magic,” he said. “Now we have to start over to get back to that magic.” A wave of excitement greeted the performance of 18-year-old Wilfried Gnonto against Germany on Matchday 1, but the coach does not expect miracles in the short term. “It takes time,” he said. “We can’t just invent players.”
Dizzy Dragons ready to host dark Red Devils
Under other circumstances, Wales fans would be delighted to revisit their resounding 3-1 victory against Belgium in the quarter-finals of UEFA EURO 2016but enthusiasm for the future is the order of the day after their Victory in the final of the World Cup play-offs against Ukraine. Keeping his team focused on the task at hand in the Nations League may now be a challenge for Rob Page.
In 2016 Wales were completely underdogs when they faced Belgium, but Roberto Martínez’s side looked listless as they lost 4-1 at home to the Netherlands in their opener, and has a lot to prove in Cardiff. “After the [Netherlands] It was quiet in the dressing room: no one said anything,” said defender Timothy Castagne. “Everyone expects a lot from the ‘Golden Generation’, as we are called, but that brings extra pressure. We still have a team strong enough to win something.”
• Matchday four marks the final day of the 2021/22 men’s football calendar and the start of the second half of the UEFA Nations League programme, with the Oslo stage of the Scandinavian classic between Norway and Sweden and another rematch of the 2018 FIFA World Cup final between France and Croatia in perspective.
• The UEFA Nations League will have its own summer break in July and August, before the postponed Matchday 1 game between Scotland and Ukraine from Wednesday September 21. The early kick-off between Kazakhstan and Belarus on Thursday, September 22 marks the beginning of the 5th day, Italy home game against England perhaps the biggest tie.
• Matchday 6 runs from Sunday 25 September to Tuesday 27 September, after which relegation and promotion issues will largely be decided for each league. The top teams from each of the four League A sections will also be confirmed in the final, which will take place in June 2023.
Days 3 and 4: June 9-14, 2022
Days 5 and 6: September 22-27, 2022
Draw for the final: to be confirmed
Semi-finals: June 14 & 15, 2023
Final and match for third place: June 18, 2023
Play-outs: March 21–23 & 24–26, 2024
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