New UEFA Nations League is major money-maker 09/06/2018

Gareth Bale has joined up with his Wales team-mates ahead of Thursday's clash with Ireland

World champions France were held to a goalless draw by Germany in League A of Uefa's Nations League.

Kylian Mbappe of France in action during training before the International Friendly football match between Germany and France at Allianz Arena on September 5, 2018 in Munich, Germany.

On the other hand, reigning world champions France will be keen on laying down an early marker with a win over Germany on the road. "It didn't go well for them but the quality of this German team is there", he said.

League A - Contains the big guns.

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Despite being given a tutorial of the newly formed competition by UEFA by Three Lions' boss Gareth Southgate, the England players are still struggling to get their heads around the idea, with research being carried out to understand the rules, as reported by The Telegraph. Group 1 of League C has three teams while the rest have four and League D groups all have four teams each.

The group winners will be promoted to League A, and the bottom four teams will be relegated to League C. In Russia, Germany saw teams pick them apart on the counter-attack, with Jerome Boateng showing significant signs of decline. Essentially the minnows of the European game and Kazakhstan - which is certainly not in Europe, it's capital Astana is closer to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia than it is to Moscow!

Teams have been put into four leagues from A-D with other nations that have a similar ranking to them.

The European Championship retains its traditional qualifying phase, which will be played in 10 groups of five or six teams each, and the top two will make up the other 20 to play in the tournament. There is no breathing space in the battle for promotion, relegation, and Euro 2020 qualification.

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In March 2020, each Nations League tier will have a four-team playoff bracket with the victor advancing to Euro 2020. The remaining four places will be awarded to the winners of the mini-tournament mentioned above. The league involves all 55 of UEFA's member states and will be played across the months of September, October and November, 2018 while a UEFA Nations League Final will be played in June 2019.

The four group winners from League A advance to a Final Four to decide the Nations League champion. It's similar to a repéchage in rowing - the best placed of those who failed to qualify will get a second bite at it.

The point could be made that this whole thing was merely a political ploy by former UEFA president Michel Platini, who back in 2011, when the implementation of the Nations League was first discussed, wanted to solidify his support base among some of the smaller nations within the confederation.

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