UEFA Nations League

Discussion in 'UEFA and Europe' started by CShine, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    How are the overall UEFA Nations League rankings calculated?

    Within each league (A, B, C and D), the overall ranking will be calculated based on position in the group then points, goal difference, goals scored, away goals scored, wins, away wins, disciplinary points, coefficient ranking.
    - UEFA.com

    IIRC UEFA's national team coefficient rankings will still be used for the (final) EURO draw but ITT and in previous posts I did provide sources that UEFA's Nations League rankings will determine the composition of the draw pots for the subsequent European Qualifiers, e.g. footballseeding.com.

    For European WCQs however I haven't seen a trustworthy source claiming that UEFA's Nations League rankings will determine the composition of the draw pots. With the wording "subsequent European Qualifiers" it's possible that UEFA's Nations League rankings will also be used in European WCQs draws. Seeing it's a FIFA competition (including the Qs), FIFA's rankings have gained importance through the years (again for the final Russia2018 draw) and they're looking to revamp their rankings FIFA might still force UEFA to use those (+/- exclude NL play-off spots as Infantino, Mr. Inclusivity, doesn't like UEFA minnows, not even in his 48 team monstrosity). UEFA postponed using FIFA's fizzy drink rankings in the past and it wouldn't be a surprise if UEFA will try to rid themselves of it for the European WCQs once the Nations League arrives.
     
    BocaFan repped this.
  2. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    ^ Thanks. That's pretty clear.

    So in theory it won't take much for a team to plummet or soar in the rankings! I mean, given that most groups have just 3 teams in them we will eventually see a group where the three teams finish with identical 2-0-2 or 1-2-1 records, especially since the teams within a group will be fairly evenly matched, by design.

    Anyway, that would mean that promotion and relegation would be entirely decided by goal difference! :laugh: The promoted team would soon find themselves 15-20 places above the relegated team in the NL rankings - which they had the same W/D/L record as. :geek:
     
  3. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    TBF it makes the Nations League more exciting ... especially the inaugural edition of the Nations League's premier tier ... Uefa made it very slippery by design ... I expected promotion/relegation play-offs to be added to help the big media markets stay in the top tier League but Uefa's NL offers no place to hide, no 2nd chances ... and indeed without this sort of protection it seems the NL isn't mainly about adding a money-spinning opportunity.

    The NL replaces friendlies and due to the big churn we'll see plenty of new faces ... the likes of Germany being relegated and ending up in pot 2 or even 3 is a distinct possibility unlike in the past ... Germany, Spain and France in a GoD (or Germany, Italy and France as Spain probably will grab a top seed next month) ... one of them being relegated (with consequences for the Qs) ... that would definitely be cut-throat ... the NL already sounds better than that 24 team EUROs mistake.

    Also, GD could be very close as well ... the next tiebreaker is goals scored ... sorry Greece, you actually will have to try and attack in the promotion/relegation battle. Germany OTOH don't take friendlies too seriously ... if that's the case in the NL they risk ending up bottom and being relegated ... pot 2 if they're one of the worst 2 sides in League A and 2 years later pot 3 could even beckon if they come bottom of their group again. Holland might already end up in pot 3 after next year's NL (ATM it doesn't look like they'll get into League A, about 24%). In the beginning I doubted Uefa would put much at stake ... that they have gone so far ... I love it.
     
  4. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    United States
    My guess is that "rank" applies to the Nations League tables. For example, if one group of League A had its top three teams but not its fourth place teams among the 20 qualifiers from the Euro 2020 qualifying, the fourth (bottom) club from that league would compete against one club from each of the other three League A groups. If all four teams in a League A group were among the 20 qualifiers, one League B team would compete with three League A teams for one Euro 2020 spot. Let's say that in League B, two groups had their winner be among the 20 qualifiers. One possibility would be that the spot in the League A playoffs goes to the better of the two League B groups who didn't have their winner be among the 20 qualifiers. Another possibility would be that that the spot in the League A playoffs goes to whichever League B group had the better winner, and if that team was among the 20 qualifiers then the second place team in its group would get bumped up twice and get to play in the League A playoffs.
     
  5. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    Edgar provides a good overview in his UEFA Nations League seeding simulations ... top job ... also (Dutch) Ed's comment at the bottom includes the probabilities for the top seeds in League A ... thanks.

    http://www.football-rankings.info/2017/09/uefa-nations-league-seeding-simulations.html

    The probabilities (%) for the top seeds in League A

    Germany - 100
    Portugal 99,4
    Belgium - 94,8
    Spain - 78,8
    France - 22,0
    England - 4,4
    Switzerland - 0,4
    Italy - 0,2

    PS come on Holland ... I'm hoping they manage to get into League A after next month's matches ... please give us a derby.
     
  6. themodelcitizen

    Jul 23, 2000
    BMO Field - Sec. 114
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    So if there are less than four teams left in League A who haven't already qualified for the Euros via normal qualifying, they bring up the next best-ranked team(s) from League B to take their place in the playoff, where each League produces one playoff winner to go into the Euros.

    So if you're in a lesser tier and wrap up your group, it's actually in your interest to then tank so you're one of the lesser-ranked group winners. You still get promoted and enter the Nations League playoff, but if you go on to fail in Euro qualifying, you're at less risked of getting bumped into a more difficult playoff.
     
  7. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    Assuming most, if not all, League A teams qualify via regular Qs you'd have to add 2, 3 and at times even 4 teams from League B to the League A play-offs ... it isn't unlikely that most League B teams would have already qualified as well ... League B group winners would probably be added to League A play-offs ... OTOH League B teams flirting with relegation (or that will be relegated) could enter League B play-offs ... if you're getting relegated anyway it wouldn't be a bad idea to make sure you're one of, if not the worst-ranked League B team ... League A + B = 24 teams with 2x4 entering the play-offs ... it isn't very likely that less than 16 qualify via the regular Qs unless lots of strong teams have fallen as low as League C or D (= 9 or more of the top 24 teams would have to fail in the regular Qs) ... so gambling on League B play-offs is rather safe (at least ATM it is) ... but if you can avoid relegation you might still put up a fight (depending on how important the NL is to you) and as the results from the regular Qs could hold a big surprise you can end up being relegated and miss out on a play-off spot as the worst-ranked League B team only because you tried to avoid a possibly harder play-off path.

    It's basically a guarantee that there will be less than four teams left in League A who haven't already qualified in the inaugural edition of the NL. In subsequent editions ... with promoted sides that might struggle a bit more in the regular Qs ... possibly there would be no need to add the next best-ranked team(s) from League B ... yet cream rises to the top ... so it will keep happening. It would have been fairer that the 4 best-ranked team(s) from League B had their (completely) own play-off path and the next best-ranked team(s) from League B (i.e. 5th, 6th, etc. or even League C teams) had to face League A teams in the play-offs. Still there are 20 spots up for grabs in the regular Qs for EURO2020 (if Germany host EURO2024 you pretty much compete for the same amount of spots as Germany are expected to qualify anyway) ... League A teams that fail to grab one of those, maybe Iceland for example, will be close enough to the level of the best ranked League B teams who haven't already qualified ... considering the aim to have teams playing more consistently at their own level you could argue it isn't that awful to extend this to the play-offs ... besides Uefa ruined a perfect 16 team EUROs ... if they cared about avoiding dilution they shouldn't have expanded it to 24 teams ... the worst harm has been done already and Uefa could as well start thinking about a 32 team EURO to improve the formula and make absolutely certain all of the big media markets "qualify".

    If Uefa had instead opted to not move up the next best-ranked team(s) to the higher tier play-offs ... then you could get lopsided matches ... e.g. a strong League A team is unlucky not to qualify via the regular Qs and instead of facing the next best-ranked team(s) from League B would face the 5th, 6th, etc. ranked League C team (assuming the 4 best-ranked team(s) from League B and C get their own path and the next team gets moved up) ... so 11/12 League A teams would have qualified, 8/12 from League B (and the other 4 have their own play-off path), 1/15 from League C has already qualified (and the 4 best-ranked League C teams have their own play-off path) ... let's say Italy were that strong League A side (yet unlucky not to qualify via the regular Qs) and Montenegro, Norway and Finland failed to qualify in the regular Qs or end up as one of the 4 best-ranked League C teams ... those play-offs would be "too soft" for Italy ... let Italy face the best-ranked League B team(s) instead ... e.g. Italy v. Holland in the play-off final would be much closer ... Holland missed EURO2016 and didn't even have an exciting time in the Qs or NL play-offs ... they could have had it if the UNL had started before EURO2016 and again ahead of Russia2018 as they're on the brink of missing another major tournament.
     
  8. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    Dropping down to League D ahead of WCQs, when there probably won't be a play-off route to WC qualification, remains a bigger issue ... ahead of ECQs you'd get a chance at very soft play-offs to gain entry into a major tournament and at promotion to League C ... if you manage that you just drop down again ahead of the next WCQs ... rinse and repeat ... or if you didn't manage to win promotion just stay in League D until the next EURO play-off route opens up and try your luck again ... teams that have been eliminated in the current WCQs and that can still drop down to League D next month could consider throwing their final games (teams that can still move up to League C could be better off if they didn't try their best next month).
     
  9. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    #134 BocaFan, Sep 22, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
    The article doesn't quite say otherwise. It says it'll use the NL rankings, and you are still using the NL rankings if you pair the league A team with the lower-ranked league B teams. See below:

    Yeah, that certainly seems like a flaw in the format, doesn't it? Mind you, that UEFA.com article that was linked above doesn't explicitly say that the highest ranked league B team(s) will join the League A qualifying playoff:

    "If a league does not have four teams to compete, the remaining slots are allocated to teams from another league, according to the overall UEFA Nations League rankings."

    I suspect if, say, one league A team and 3 league B teams hadn't already qualified then the league A will enter the qualifying playoffs with 3 league C teams that finished second in their groups, while the 3 league B teams would be joined by the best second-place league C team. The league C playoffs would consist of the 4 group winners.
    That way UEFA fulfills their promise that at least one team from each league will qualify for the Euros, and at the same time there is no incentive to lose games.
     
  10. themodelcitizen

    Jul 23, 2000
    BMO Field - Sec. 114
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    The graphics in the second video seemed to suggest that it would be the league B winners moving up to the league A playoffs, but you're right, it's not set in stone yet.
     
  11. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    All draw procedures haven't been confirmed ... so yes it isn't set in stone yet and yes I also had a look at the graphics which show that play-off berths will be allocated to the next best ranked team of the lower League ... the "according to the overall UEFA Nations League rankings" bit doesn't have to suggest it's the next best ranked team but it could very well be the case. Also, other sources support that suggestion (either way I'm sticking with it unless Uefa say otherwise):

    IMO Uefa are viewing the NL play-offs differently ... the regular Qs are in place to allow the best 20 teams to qualify for EURO2020 ... while with the NL play-offs Uefa isn't looking for the best (21-24) ... it's about inclusivity ... a 24 team EURO is more of a social event sort of nonsense (32 teams can fix the format even though 16 was perfect for quality of play). NL play-offs are for the unlucky teams from the regular Qs and "an extra way to qualify for UEFA EURO final" for lower ranking teams ... the guaranteed League D spot is quite the statement ... even though it's open to abuse from League C teams deciding to drop down.

    Imagine Uefa also wants to go down that route for WCQs ... our favourite little brother, Luxembourg, at the World Cup ... however Infantino won't allow it ... I'm guessing that if NL play-offs are part of WCQs ... 10 spots will go to the group winners from the regular Qs ... the final 3 spots for Qatar2022 could go to NL play-offs winners (in case these are in place for European WCQs as well) ... no guaranteed League D spot but the best 12 teams that haven't already qualified enter these play-offs (maybe seeded so the best 3 are in separate play-offs, 1-3 can't face 4-6 before the final play-off, No.1 plays No.12 in the SF, etc.) ... after the WC expansion there are even 6 spots to hand out (10 regular Qs + 6x4 via play-offs?).
     
  12. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    Also, let's see how a few NLs will impact the seeding for regular Qs ... it could look very different from Uefa's coefficient rankings ... plus what will happen to the Fifa rankings in European WCQs ... or how will NL matches be weighted in Fifa's rankings ... the intent is to create a major tournament that Uefa very much wants to push ... can't have the same weight as friendlies with that sort of importance, I guess ... other confeds have multiple tournaments that are weighted more than friendly games in Fifa's rankings while Uefa only had the EURO as the sole confed-level tournament.
     
  13. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    That would be a good way to prevent league C teams from tanking their matches. If a league C team gets a WC spot while League D does not, I think teams would rather be in league C.
    Also there are more ways to qualify for Euro 2020 if you're in league C than through league D (albeit against tougher competition)
     
  14. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Would be difficult to weight it more than friendlies unless other confederations have their own NL. Giving more weight to NL matches would result in UEFA teams being significantly overrated in the FIFA rankings since they play fewer friendlies.

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to the start of the NL. Just hope the big nations take it seriously. Maybe one day there will be no need for the FIFA rankings because there will be a FIFA Nations League containing all countries of the world and ranking them according to their league position.
     
  15. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    #140 Blondo, Sep 22, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
    With only 13 spots for Qatar2022 merit will most likely prevail over guaranteeing a spot for the likes of Luxembourg (however they might even take care of Qatar seeing Lululand were able to shut out France and have mighty Lululander Aurélien Joachim, i.e. the top scorer in a group with France, Sweden and Holland with just 2 games left). It's 10 spots during regular WCQs (instead of 20 during ECQs) as Uefa want 10 groups with the top 2 qualifying for EURO2020 (probably only group winners for Qatar2022) ... those 10 spots could very well be won solely by League A and B teams ... still it's best to be in those 2 leagues for the play-off spots which in that case would include 12 of the 14 best ranked teams that haven't already qualified (only 3x4 teams enter the play-offs; none from group C) ... like the League D guarantee Uefa would have to opt for a League C guarantee instead of going with the best ranked teams ... regardless we don't know if NL and WCQs will be linked (might only apply to ECQs). Still the problem remains that you can try your luck ahead of ECQs to gain entry into the EURO final via the League D backdoor and when that backdoor is closed ahead of WCQs you can just drop down to League D again (or stay in D).

    Uefa really wants to create a top level event ... the weighting will have to reflect the desired prestige ... especially the Final 4 event will be highly valued by Uefa (should be on continental cup level, i.e. 3x multiplier, or very close) ... even the glorified friendly that's the confed cup gets an insane weighting (also 3x) ... the NL Final 4 could be at the level of the EURO Final weighting or very close ... the 4 or 6 NL group matches + NL play-offs could be on qualifier level, i.e. 2.5x multiplier, or very close (they're even linked to qualification) ... we'll have to wait and see.

    In CAF both AFCON and CHAN have an increased weighting (same in other confeds with multiple confed level tournaments) ... Uefa also don't have 18 WCQs like Conmebol (who have organized a lot of tournaments in recent times and are planning on more in future) ... instead it's 8 or 10 European WCQs and just a single confed level tournament in Uefa ... the high ranked teams in Uefa have to harm their ranking facing minnows like Liechtenstein or San Marino in the qualifiers (Peru could very well be ranked well ahead of the likes of France and Spain in the ranking that matters for the final Russia2018 draw = nonsense). After all it's only 4 or 6 games (plus possible Final 4 or NL play-offs) but you won't be facing low ranked teams ... the impact could be massive ... still the Fifa rankings will be retooled (probably in part to take the NL into account) ... it's not unlikely that the NL will get an increased weighting ... other aspects will have to be retooled ... or maybe Fifa comes up with a brand new algorithm ... they could as well use unadjusted odds, Vegas odds if you like, from odds compilers.
     
  16. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    The final twist ... play-off spots being allocated in reverse order, starting with League D, seems the most plausible explanation of Uefa's vid ... it would look like this:

    1) start with 4 play-off spots in League D, i.e. 1-4 best ranked League D teams not qualified via regular ECQs.

    2) then 4 play-off spots in League C, i.e. 1-4 best ranked League C teams not qualified via regular ECQs.

    3) then 4 play-off spots in League B, i.e. 1-4 best ranked League B teams not qualified via regular ECQs. When there are less than 4 teams add the 5th best ranked team from League C and so on. In the vid presentation they say next best ranked team (after 1-4)

    4) finally 4 play-off spots in League A, i.e. 1-4 best ranked League A teams not qualified via regular ECQs. When there are less than 4 teams add the 5th best ranked team from League B and so on (if there are no League B teams available then the next best ranked team from League C that hasn't been added to League B play-offs).

    Not really for competition purists but the play-offs will deliver more or less balanced games ... teams playing more consistently at their own level in the play-offs as well.

    To give an example ... 10/12 League A and 10/12 League B teams have qualified already:

    1) League D play-offs include 1D, 2D, 3D and 4D
    2) League C play-offs include 1C, 2C, 3C and 4C
    3) League B play-offs include 1B and 2B while 5C and 6C are moved up
    4) League A play-offs include 1A and 2A while 7C and 8C are moved up

    If all 12 from League A are already qualified teams and 8/12 from League B then League C teams 5-8 would all move to the "League A" play-offs.
     
    BocaFan repped this.
  17. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Details of Euro 2020 qualifying has been presented : http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro-2020/news/newsid=2502936.html

    No real surprises announced but a couple of comments:
    Draw won't take place until 2 Dec 2018 - after the first NL group stage is complete.
    The 4 winners of the League A groups will be separated (seeded) in the draw and they will each head a 5 team group. Guess that's nicer than going into a 6 team group.
     
  18. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    With UEFA having 55 members now, might we see 11 groups of five for 2022 wc qualifying? Group winners qualify and last 2 spots come from NL?

    That would be a clean way to avoid having a league C playoff for a wc spot
     
  19. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    IIRC the 4 winners of League A compete in the Final Four main event when the teams in 6 team groups in the regular Qs are scheduled to play qualifiers.

    AFAIK it will be 10 groups but we don't even know if NL and WCQs will be linked. It's pretty much anyone's guess.
     
  20. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Add Poland to this list after their win yesterday.

    Slovakia and No. Ireland both lose - good news for Iceland in terms of hanging-on to their league "A" place. Also opens the door for the Netherlands to qualify for league "A".
     
  21. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Iceland on the cusp of qualifying for league “A” after their big win in Turkey last night.

    Russia will drop out of league “A” in the next 3 days guaranteed. Croatia in danger of dropping to league “B” after they messed-up against Finland at home!

    Wales are first-in-line to replace Russia in league “A”. The winner of Netherlands v Sweden match will also have a good change to move up if Croatia or Wales slip-up.
     
  22. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    ^ Actually Iceland are ensured of being in League "A" before their match against Kosovo even kicks off.

    That leaves two spots available. Croatia and Wales will get them if they win their matches today. Otherwise the door is open for the winner of Netherlands x Sweden. :geek:
     
  23. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Croatia wins so they are the 11th team confirmed for league A.

    The 12th team will be either Austria, the Netherlands or Sweden (Austria if NED v SWE finishes in a tie, otherwise the winner of that game).
     
  24. Hidegkuti78

    Hidegkuti78 Member

    Sep 2, 2015
    Club:
    ACF Fiorentina
    Hi everyone, I haven't read the whole thread, but I wanted to ask you if the possibility of tanking has already been addressed here.

    I have read that each one of League A, B, C and D will ensure one spot for Euro2020.
    How do they plan to avoid that teams in a "low C" ranking start tanking in order to be relegated to D and have a weaker competition for the Euro2020 spot?
    (Same could be said abut low B teams tanking towards C).
     
  25. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Aug 18, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    The short answer I think is "NO".

    Here's the long answer.

    Firstly, there are 2 things to consider:

    1- Tanking before the NL starts to position your country in a better place

    2 - Tanking in the actual NL matches.

    I don’t think #1 is an issue. I really highly doubt the teams like Lithuania, Belarus, Azerbaijan even have a clue that they are on the cusp of being in league C or league D. They’re just focused on World Cup qualifying. Belarus gave Holland all they could handle last weekend. Azerbaijan gave Czech Republic a good fight and beat San Marino last month.

    As for #2... if you’re in league D you have to win your group to have a chance to qualify for Euro 2020. So nobody will be tanking there.

    Similarly, in league C you are ensured of getting a second chance of qualifying for Euro 2020 if you win your group. Although some second-place teams in league C will also get a crack at the Euro 2020 playoffs and its not clear whether their path will be easier or harder than the group winners’ path. But it’ll probably be harder. In any case, if you’re in league C you have every incentive to finish in the top 2 of your group.

    Leagues A & B are more complicated but I still think if you do well in the NL you give yourself a better second chance to qualify for the Euros. Of course, there's still a big question about how much teams will care about winning the Nations League crown. Only time will tell.

    We can't really discuss anything more than that because we don't know what the format will be after 2019 (including how the NL will impact WC 2022 qualifying).
     

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