Predicting Group 1 of UEFA Nations League A

The 2020/21 UEFA Nations League season is set to start on 3 September with the two first Group A4 fixtures – Germany hosting Spain in Stuttgart and Ukraine hosting Switzerland in Lviv. On 4 September Group A1 will kick off. Group A1 contains the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. This article will be predicting Group 1 of UEFA Nations League A.

Predicting Group 1 of UEFA Nations League A

The Netherlands and Italy Are Likely to Fight for First Place

The Netherlands have taken major strides forward since their struggles that started after the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Finishing as runners-up of the 2018/19 UEFA Nations League and qualifying for UEFA Euro 2020 with ease. 

Likewise, Italy is a historically strong national team that has been failing to reach the later stages of international tournaments within recent years. Their qualification campaign for Euro 2020 gives them reasons to be optimistic even though it was a comparatively easy group.

Italy Are Marginally Worse Than the Netherlands

The Netherlands and Italy are likely to fight for first place. The Azzuri did perform better in 2019 European Qualifiers. However, it’s worth noting their group was easier than that of the Dutch, who had to battle it out with Germany. The Oranje lost to Germany at home after a 90th minute Nico Shulz goal, but convincingly beat die Mannschaft 4-2 away.

Additionally, the Dutch proved more against stronger teams in the 2018/19 Nations League. Where they defeated Germany and France, losing only one game (2-1 away against Le Bleus). Meanwhile, the Azzuri drew with Poland at home and won in the last minute away. They also drew 0-0 with Portugal at home and lost to them 1-0 away. Poland and Portugal are not weak teams. Neither are Germany and France, though – two teams the Dutch managed to beat. Italy have undoubtedly improved since then, but the same is true for Holland.

Poland Should Perform Better Than Bosnia and Herzegovina

Poland were in the same Nations League group as Italy, where they finished behind the Azzuri and eventual champions Portugal. A Jorginho penalty in the 78th minute is the only thing that denied the Poles a win in Bologna. The White and Reds were equally unfortunate on home soil, losing to a last-minute Cristiano Biraghi goal. Although their Euro 2020 qualification group was quite easy, their performance was nonetheless impressive. Winning it with comfortably and only losing one game.  

Bosnia and Herzegovina are expected to be the groups’ “whipping boys”. Which is justified due to their, to say the least, lackluster performance in 2019 European Qualifiers where they finished fourth behind Italy, Finland, and Greece. Declining monumentally from their 2018/19 Nations League B campaign that saw them soaring to first place in their group after wins, home and away, against Austria and Northern Ireland. Any position except fourth would be an upset for The Dragons

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