The top 16 teams (according to UEFA) know who they will be playing against this autumn following the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League A Draw. This article will focus on League A. The other leagues are still important of course, especially to the people from the nations in those leagues, but they’re a topic for another day. This article will look exclusively look at League A and make some far too early predictions of which team will win and be relegated respectively from each group.
2020-21 UEFA Nations League A Draw
The Nations of Each Group
- Group A1 – Netherlands, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland
- Group A2 – England, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland
- Group A3 – Portugal, France, Sweden, Croatia
- Group A4 – Switzerland, Spain, Ukraine, Germany
Group A1 – A Two-Horse Race Between The Netherlands and Italy
This group sees the vice UEFA Nations League champions the Netherlands paired with a rising Italy. Claiming Italy is rising is perhaps almost insulting, considering they’ve already risen, winning every game of their European Qualifiers. They’ve experienced a meteoric rise under Roberto Mancini and can definitely compete with the Dutch. Can the Netherlands win their group again or will Italy edge them out? Poland is good, but simply not enough for the Netherlands and Italy. Bosnia and Herzegovina are expected to be relegated.
Group A2 – Belgium Clear Favorites, But England Will Challenge Them
Despite Denmark being undefeated in 90 minutes since October 2016, they’re unlikely to topple Belgium any time soon. Even if the Danes remain undefeated, that won’t be enough – winning games is necessary. In the end, expect it to come down to a struggle between Belgium and England. A struggle Belgium likely will win, because they are slightly superior to England, despite the Three Lions improving vastly within recent years. Iceland will be viewed as six free points by the three other teams, but I don’t think Iceland will lose every game. Playing in Reykjavik is tricky.
Group A3 – The Group of Death
Reigning Nations League and European champions Portugal, world champions and vice European champions France, vice world champions Croatia – and Sweden. One might be quick to label Sweden the “whipping boy” of this group, but it won’t be that straightforward. Portugal and France are still great, but Croatia is a shadow of their former selves and can definitely be defeated by Sweden. Portugal and France will likely be fighting for first place.
Group A4 – Spain or Germany – That Is The Question
Switzerland won its 2018-19 Nations League group after a spectacular 5-2 win against Belgium, but seeing another such feat should not be expected. Because this group is more competitive. Switzerland won’t have Iceland as six free points this time. Spain was unlucky to miss out on the 2019 Nations League Finals and will be hungry for redemption. It will also be interesting to see if Germany will keep on improving and start being a serious competitor again. Do not underestimate Ukraine. They won their European Qualifiers group with ease, defeating Portugal in the process. However, this group is even tougher and I don’t think Ukraine will be consistent enough to win it.