How the 2021 UEFA Nations League finals will work: teams, format, venues, how to watch

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T

he second finals of the UEFA Nations League kicks off on Wednesday and a new name will appear on the trophy.

Portugal won the inaugural competition but failed to break out of their squad for the 2021 edition. Standard Sport explains what to expect this time around:

What is the League of Nations?

It was launched in 2018 by UEFA as a way to replace international friendlies for European teams. For this edition, the 55 teams across the continent have been divided into four leagues. League A consisted of the top 16 European teams divided into four groups of four. After a series of round robin matches, the four League A group winners have advanced to the finals, where the winners will be crowned champions.

When and where are this year’s finals?

The finals take place from Wednesday October 6 to Sunday October 10. They were due to be held in June but were postponed so that the delayed Euro 2020 finals could take place.

Italy, who qualified for the Nations League finals, were confirmed as hosts on December 3. The matches will take place at the San Siro in Milan and at the Juventus Stadium in Turin.

Which teams are playing?

It is certainly a high class area. This year’s finals feature both world champions France and new European champions Italy. Then there’s the world’s No.1 ranked team, Belgium, and the quartet is rounded out by Spain, who led Italy on penalties before losing in the semi-finals of the Euro 2020. None of these teams reached the 2019 final.

England, who finished third in the Premier League, failed to qualify this time around after finishing third in a group that also included Belgium, Denmark and Iceland.

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, left, trains with his France teammates ahead of their semi-final

/ AFP via Getty Images

What is the format?

Italy faces Spain in the first semi-final on Wednesday in Milan and the following night Belgium faces France in Turin. Kick-off of the two matches at 7.45 p.m.

The losers will then meet at Juventus Stadium at 2 p.m. on Sunday while the winners play the final that night at the San Siro, kick-off at 7.45 p.m.

For the semi-final and the final, if the scores are equal at the end of regulation time, there will be 30 minutes of extra time followed by penalties if necessary. For the third place play-off, there is no overtime and a draw will go straight to penalties.

How to watch the finals

Sky Sports will broadcast all four games with coverage of the semi-finals starting at 7:30 p.m. Sky Sports subscribers will be able to watch the match online through the Sky Go app.


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