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Nations League: Scotland gain promotion to League A, but England and Wales are relegated to League B

Scotland take their place in League A; England and Wales are relegated to League B; Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland both avoid the drop

Karim Benzema, Harry Kane and Gareth Bale

The international break has seen the culmination of the Nations League group stages, meaning promotions, relegations and progression to next summer's finals are all decided.

The action began last Wednesday when Scotland beat Ukraine at Hampden Park, however, Wales and England have not fared so well.

England's 1-0 reverse at San Siro on Friday saw Gareth Southgate's side demoted to League B before Monday night's 3-3 draw with Germany at Wembley. Wales joined the Three Lions in being relegated after losing 2-1 by Belgium on Thursday and then 1-0 at home to Poland on Sunday.

Harry Kane shows his frustration in Budapest
Image: England finished bottom of their Nations League group

Scotland, though, secured promotion to the top tier, which guarantees them a Euro 2024 play-off spot, after a goalless draw with Ukraine in Poland on Tuesday night, while Croatia, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain all claimed their places in the final four next summer with victories on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Here's a reminder of how the leagues were decided during the final round of group stage matches.

2022/23 Nations League key dates

  • Semi-finals: June 14 & 15 2023 (Croatia, Netherlands, Italy, Spain or Portugal)
  • Final & third-place match: June 18 2023
  • Play-offs: March 21–23 & 24–26 2024

How does the Nations League work?

France celebrate their UEFA Nations League victory over Spain
Image: France celebrate their Nations League victory over Spain in the final in October 2021

Europe's sides have been divided into four leagues, with A, B and C containing 16 teams and D containing seven. Leagues A, B and C have then been split into four groups of four, while League D has one group of four and one of three.

Teams grouped together are playing each other home and away. The group winners in Leagues B, C and D will be promoted to the next league up, while the teams finishing bottom of their groups in Leagues A, B and C will be relegated to the lower division.

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There is no relegation from League D, while the four group winners in League A will progress to the finals, which will be held next summer.

What else is at stake?

Goran Pandev scored North Macedonia's first Euros goal
Image: North Macedonia qualified for Euro 2020 through the play-offs, which they reached thanks to their Nations League performance

Performance in the Nations League will also be used to determine seeding for Euro 2024 qualifying, with the draw taking place on October 9 and matches being held between March and November 2023.

Teams that fail to reach Euro 2024 through qualifying can still reach the tournament via the play-offs, which are decided by Nations League placings.

The teams that finish highest in their groups - and do not qualify for Euro 2024 at the first attempt - in Leagues A, B and C will be entered into the play-offs, which take place in March 2024.

Each league will have four teams in its play-off section, with semi-finals and finals being played to determine which sides - one from each of Leagues A, B and C - secure a place at Euro 2024.

The current state of play

League A

Group A1

Croatia claimed top spot and with it a place at next summer's finals after beating Austria 3-1 in Vienna on Sunday night, a result which condemned the hosts to relegation to League B.

However, it also meant France were spared the embarrassment of being demoted from League A after they lost 2-0 in Denmark.

Group A2

Spain took top spot in Group A2 thanks to a late goal from Alvaro Morata that saw off Portugal in Braga, while at the other end of the table, Switzerland's 2-1 home win over Czech Republic ensured they stayed up, while the visitors were demoted in St Gallen on Tuesday night.

Group A3

When A3 was drawn, Hungary quickly appeared to be the favourites to finish bottom of this highly competitive group, but Marco Rossi's side collected 10 points from their first five games following Friday evening's 1-0 win over Germany in Leipzig to leave them needing just a point at home to Italy on Monday to make next summer's finals.

However, with Italy starting the night just two points behind thanks to their 1-0 victory against England in the San Siro, the European champions won 2-0 in Budapest to top the group and qualify for next summer's finals.

As for Gareth Southgate's team, defeat in Milan meant relegation to League B before they salvaged some pride with a 3-3 draw against Germany at Wembley on Monday.

Group A4

The Netherlands overcame Belgium 1-0 on Sunday evening to seal first place in the group and so the Oranje will be competing in the finals, while Wales' 1-0 home defeat to Poland meant relegation to League B for Rob Page's team.

League B

Group B1

Scotland grabbed first place in Group B1 after drawing 0-0 with Ukraine in Krakow on Tuesday evening as Steve Clarke's side ensured promotion to League A and guaranteed a Euro 2024 play-off spot in the process.

Meanwhile, Republic of Ireland overcame nine-man Armenia 3-2 at the Aviva Stadium to avoid relegation to League C, a fate that befell their opponents.

Group B2

Israel guaranteed promotion to League A when they beat Albania 2-1 on Saturday.

Russia's ban means they will automatically be relegated to League C.

Group B3

Bosnia and Herzegovina ensured promotion to League A by beating Montenegro 1-0 at home on Friday night. Romania have been relegated to League C despite defeating the group winners 4-1 on Monday night after Finland beat Montenegro 2-0.

Group B4

Promotion from Group B4 to League A was a two-horse race between Norway and Serbia, with the visitors taking top spot in the group thanks to a 2-0 win at the Ullevaal Stadion on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, relegation was also decided on the final matchday when bottom side Slovenia travelled to Sweden, with the visitors getting the point they needed to clinch survival, sending their hosts down in the process.

League C

Group C1

Turkey confirmed their promotion to League B with a draw against Luxembourg on Thursday - but it was far from straightforward for the group leaders, who needed an 87th-minute strike to grab a 3-3 draw with the second-placed side in Group C1.

Meanwhile, Lithuania's draw at home to the Faroe Islands condemned them to relegation to League D with a game still to play.

Group C2

C2 was the only one of the 14 Nations League groups in which promotion had already been decided; Greece will be playing in League B next time around after winning their first four fixtures.

Meanwhile, despite going down 3-1 in Greece, Northern Ireland avoided the drop after Cyprus also lost, 5-1 in Kosovo on Tuesday evening.

Group C3

Kazakhstan are on their way up to League B after a win over bottom-side Belarus on Thursday gave them an unassailable lead at the top of Group C3.

The result also sealed Belarus' relegation to League D - they are four points adrift of a Slovakia side who lost at home to Azerbaijan on Thursday but with just one game remaining the promotion and relegation battle in this pool is decided.

Group C4

Promotion and relegation from Group C4 were both decided on Friday afternoon when Georgia beat North Macedonia 2-0 in Tbilisi to seal their place in League B, while Bulgaria thrashed Gibraltar 5-1 to see the visitors demoted to League D.

The group was completed on Monday evening as Georgia beat Gibraltar 2-1 and Bulgaria defeated North Macedonia 1-0.

League D

Group D1

Latvia won the group due to a better head-to-head record with Moldova after they both finished level on points on Sunday afternoon.

Latvia drew 1-1 at Andorra, while Moldova scored twice in injury time to overcome Liechtenstein at home.

Group D2

Estonia's last-gasp 2-1 home win over 10-man Malta on Friday afternoon confirmed promotion to League C for the hosts. They followed up that result by thrashing bottom side San Marino 4-0 on Monday night.

So... who will be in which League for the next Nations League?

League A

POT 1
Netherlands
Croatia
Spain
Italy

POT 2
Denmark
Portugal
Belgium
Hungary

POT 3
Switzerland
Germany
Poland
France

POT 4
Israel
Bosnia
Serbia
󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴Scotland

League B

Pot 1
Austria
Czech Republic
England
󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿Wales

POT 2
Finland
Ukraine
Iceland
Norway

POT 3
Slovenia
Republic of Ireland
Albania
Montenegro

POT 4
Georgia
Greece
Turkey
Kazakhstan

League C

POT 1
Romania
Sweden
Armenia
Russia

POT 2
Luxembourg
Azerbaijan
Kosovo
Bulgaria

POT 3
Faroe Islands
North Macedonia
Slovakia
Northern Ireland

POT 4
Gibraltar/Cyprus
Lithuania/Belarus
Estonia
Latvia

League D

POT 1
Gibraltar/Cyprus
Lithuania/Belarus

POT 2
Moldova
Malta

POT 3
Andorra
San Marino

POT 4
Liechtenstein

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