ENGLAND are in the top division of the new Uefa Nations League, but Wales have dropped into the second tier after defeat to Ireland.
The new format is aimed at supplying more competition in the build-up to the European championships, as well as providing four finalists to Euro 2020.
Wales, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have been named in League B for the competition.
Scotland, meanwhile, are in League C after failing to qualify for the World Cup.
The Republic of Ireland’s 1-0 win over the Welsh on Monday appears to have knocked Chris Coleman’s side out of the running for the top league, with the Netherlands occupying the final top slot.
The draw for the competition will take place on January 24, and matches will take place in September, October and November next year.
Within League A, the Nations League winners of the four groups will go into a semi-final format mini tournament to take place in June 2019.
Also, Uefa claim qualifying for Euro 2020 will be made “more streamlined” – with four qualifying spots available from the competition, that will replace the Euro play-offs.
There will also be promotion and relegation in the competition between the leagues and one team from each of the four leagues will be guaranteed a place at Euro 2020.
The tournament is aimed at replacing “meaningless” friendlies and bringing a more competitive edge to the action.
Europe’s ‘big’ teams like Germany, France, Spain, Italy, England and Holland should enjoy the format, as it allows them to play other ‘big’ teams with a competitive edge before getting into qualifying proper.
How does the Uefa Nations League work?
- There are four Leagues.
- Each League is split into four groups.
- Each team in that group plays each other twice in September, October, November 2018.
- The top and bottom team are promoted/relegated up or down a League.
What happens then?
- European qualifiers are then drawn and start in March 2019.
- In League A, the top team in each group will play in a mini tournament in 2019.
- The final will be a competition in its own right – no Euro qualification is guaranteed from that.
What happens with Euro 2020 qualifying?
- Things will feel a lot more familiar after March 2019, with old-style Euro qualifying beginning.
- There will be 10 groups of five or six teams, as usual.
- The top two teams in those regular qualifying groups will then qualify for Euro 2020.
- But FOUR teams for Euro 2020 will be decided via the play-offs determined by the Nations League finish, these will take place in March 2020.
What’s the Uefa Nations League draw?
- The final draw for groups in each League takes place in January. Here are the four Leagues:
- League A: Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, France, England, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Iceland, Croatia and Holland.
- League B: Austria, Wales, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, Republic of Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Turkey.
- League C: Hungary, Romania, Scotland, Slovenia, Greece, Serbia, Albania, Norway, Montenegro, Israel, Bulgaria, Finland, Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania.
- League D: Azerbaijan, FYR Macedonia, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Latvia, Faroe Islands, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Malta, Andorra, Kosovo, San Marino, Gibraltar.