Predicting Group 2 of UEFA Nations League C

Group C2 consists of two teams that have the potential to make up the Euro 2020 play-off final for Path D – Georgia and North Macedonia. Those two are accompanied by an Armenian side that defeated Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2019 European Qualifiers. Estonia, who are expected to finish last, round off the group. This article will be predicting Group 2 of UEFA Nations League C.

Predicting Group 2 of UEFA Nations League C

Egregious Estonia

Estonia have little reason to be optimistic. They only obtained one point in Euro 2020 qualifying, drawing 0-0 with Belarus. Sinisärgid are, arguably, the worst team in Group C2. Anything except a fourth-place finish would be a significant achievement. 

Armenia in Third Place Seems Probable

Despite performing much better than Estonia in European Qualifiers, Armenia performed faintly worse than Georgia and North Macedonia. Havaqakan obtained two fewer points than both of their aforementioned Group C2 competitors. Furthermore, they shared a Nations League group with North Macedonia in 2018/19. In it, North Macedonia obtained five more points than Armenia even though they lost 4-0 in Yerevan. However, the Balkan side won 2-0 in Skopje and their higher point tally indicates they are somewhat better than the Armenians. Additionally, the Red Lynxes’ performance in 2019 European Qualifiers proves it wasn’t a fluke. Georgia’s superior performances than Armenia in the previous Nations League season and Euro 2020 qualifying gives them a slight edge over their eastern neighbour, too. The final nail in Armenia’s coffin is their Elo Rating, which is 20 spots below both North Macedonia and Georgia.

Georgia’s Defending Reigns Supreme

One might argue Georgia’s performance in Euro qualifying is bloated, due to Gibraltar being the only team they defeated whereas Armenia defeated stronger opposition in Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina respectively. But keep in mind it’s a historically weak Greece side that could only manage a 1-1 draw at home against Liechtenstein, for example. The Bosnians are struggling in a similar fashion. None of this is to discredit Armenia, but to provide context.

Georgia’s lack of wins does not tell the entire story. They managed to hold Denmark and the Republic of Ireland to 0-0 draws, which is more impressive than defeating Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina in their current state, with all due respect to Armenia. Also, the Georgians lost narrowly 1-0 away against Switzerland. If Georgia can manage draws against them, defeating Armenia seems likely, especially when Havaqakan’s inconsistency and the Georgians superior defensive record is accounted for. 

Nothing Separates North Macedonia and Georgia

North Macedonia and Georgia both obtained eight points in European Qualifiers (excluding North Macedonia’s matches against sixth-placed Latvia). Crveni Risovi and Jvarosnebi played in League D of the 2018/19 Nations League. In it, they both won their groups after obtaining 15 and 16 points respectively. If that wasn’t enough, they are also stacked on top of each other in the World Football Elo Ratings. Georgia is ranked 69th and North Macedonia is ranked 70th.

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