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2023 UEFA Nations League – A Guide to the Biennial Competition

The UEFA Nations League is a relatively new addition to the world of international football. Established by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), it was introduced to add an extra dimension of competition to the international breaks that occur during the regular domestic football seasons. In this guide, we will provide an overview of the structure of the UEFA Nations League, explaining how it works and its implications for European football.

The Structure of the UEFA Nations League

The UEFA Nations League involves all 55 UEFA member countries, which are split into four leagues, named A, B, C, and D. League A houses the highest-ranked teams and League D the lowest. Each league is then divided into groups, with teams playing home and away fixtures against the other teams in their group. The number of groups and teams per group varies between leagues.

League A

In League A, there are four groups of four teams. The group winners advance to the UEFA Nations League Finals, where they compete for the title. The Finals consist of two semi-finals, a third-place playoff, and the final match itself. The team finishing last in each group is relegated to League B for the next iteration of the tournament.

League B

League B also consists of four groups containing four teams. Similar to League A, the group winners are promoted to League A, while the teams finishing last are relegated to League C.

League C

League C contains four groups of four teams. Group winners earn promotion to League B. However, there isn't a simple relegation process in League C due to the structure of League D. Instead, there is a relegation play-out system.

Two matches are held between the four teams that finished last in their respective groups, with the losers of these matches being relegated to League D. In 2024-25, this will change, as the two worst-ranked teams in League C will automatically be relegated to League D.

League D

Finally, in League D, there are only two groups of three or four teams. The group winners are promoted to League C. As this is the lowest league, there is no relegation.

Adding a Competitive Edge to International Football

The UEFA Nations League structure allows for movement and competition between the leagues and creates a system where every match matters - either for promotion, to avoid relegation, or to secure a place in the Finals. It is worth noting that the leagues are not static - the composition of each league can change with every edition of the tournament due to the promotion and relegation system.

The introduction of the UEFA Nations League has certainly added a fresh layer of intrigue to international football. No longer are international breaks filled with an endless string of friendlies; now, every match has the potential to make a difference, whether that’s a shot at a trophy, the glory of promotion, or the threat of relegation. This has injected a new sense of purpose and competitiveness into matches that might previously have been viewed as inconsequential.

An Influence on the UEFA European Championship

The UEFA Nations League also impacts qualification for the UEFA European Championship. The top two teams in each group of the European Championship qualifiers automatically qualify for the tournament, but the remaining four places are decided through a play-off system that involves teams from the Nations League. This gives teams another way to qualify for the European Championship, particularly those who may find it difficult to qualify through the traditional route.

A Controversial Take on the Nations League

While the Nations League has revitalised international breaks, it is not without its complexities. The system of promotion and relegation, intertwined with the European Championship qualifying process, may require a bit of effort to fully understand. However, once grasped, it offers a more dynamic and competitive structure that reflects the diverse range of abilities and ambitions among European football nations.

One could argue that the Nations League has given smaller nations an improved platform to compete. Teams in League D have the chance to earn promotion and test themselves against higher-ranked opposition in future tournaments. Conversely, top-tier teams have to consistently perform to maintain their status in League A, adding an extra layer of pressure to these high-stakes matches.

The Nations League Finals also present a significant opportunity for teams to secure silverware on the international stage. The prestige associated with winning the Nations League is growing with each tournament, as more and more fans and pundits recognise the quality and competitiveness of the matches.

Ideally, the UEFA Nations League will be taken more seriously in the coming years. Previously, top players such as Kevin de Bruyne and Van Dijk have spoken against the competition. The words “unimportant” and “glorified friendlies” were used to describe the tournament. Many club managers, including the likes of Jurgen Klopp and Arsene Wenger, have also had their say on the tournament. They do not believe players will take it seriously and have pointed out that it means playing more competitive games, even during the international breaks, leaving players with almost no time to recover physically.

The future of the UEFA Nations League remains to be seen but the addition of the biennial international tournament could gain more credibility over the years. Many national sides will want to use the tournament as an opportunity to win silverware for their countries. The tournament gives players another competition in which they can do so.

The 2023 UEFA Nations League Finals – Popular Betting Markets

The 2023 UEFA Nations League Finals are almost underway, set to start on the 14th of June. The final and third-place play-off will be played on the 18th of June. The teams to still be in the competition are the Netherlands (the host nation), Spain, Italy and Croatia. The Finals will include a total of four matches, two semi-finals, a third-place play-off and the final.

The semi-final matchups include:

  • The Netherlands v Croatia on the 14th of June at De Kuip in Rotterdam
  • Spain v Italy on the 15th of June at De Grolsh Veste in Enschede

Here at, you will find a variety of bets to place for the UEFA Nations League Finals. We offer a plethora of betting markets for the competition, including long-term bets, match-specific bets and a fluctuating live betting market for games that are in-play.

Our betting markets include:

Outright Bets

These are bets that can be placed on the team you believe will win the competition. Outright bets, also known as long-term bets, are decided once the team you have backed is eliminated or at the end of the tournament. The most popular outright bet is backing a team to win the tournament. Other outright bets may include the team to finish in the top 3 or the player to score the most goals in the Finals.

Match Result

These are bets on the outcome a single game. In the first semi-final match between the Netherlands and Croatia, a match result bet would include the Netherlands to win, Croatia to win or the game to end as a draw (within 90 minutes).


Handicap betting is ideal for those who want to increase their odds with a higher risk or decrease their odds for a safer bet. An example of handicap betting is Spain to defeat Italy by more than one goal or Italy to win, draw or lose to Spain by less than 2 goals. Ultimately, it depends on using a negative or positive handicap.

Total Goals

The total goals bet is a type of wager where you predict whether the total number of goals scored in a football match will be over or under a specified number.

Game Props

Proposition bets, or 'prop bets', encompass a wide variety of wagers, from those concerning the overall outcome of the match - like predicting the correct score, whether a team will triumph in both halves, the final result and the winning margin - to those focusing on more granular aspects of the game, such as whether a particular player will score, if a red card will be issued, or which side will secure more corner kicks, among others.

Live Bets
Throughout the duration of a match, live bets are made available. These not only encompass the aforementioned types of wagers, but also include bets like predicting which team will score the next goal, whether the next goal will come from a corner kick, if a team will keep a clean sheet during the half, and other similar propositions.

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