The final round of 2022/23 Nations League group stage fixtures are almost upon us and countries throughout Europe have plenty on the line.
While some sides have already secured their fate for better or worse, qualification for next year’s finals is still up for grabs.
So how does promotion and relegation work in the UEFA competition? Here’s what you need to know.
For the 2022/23 Nations League, the 55 UEFA national teams were divided into four leagues of 16 teams – except League D, which has seven teams divided into one group of four and one group of three.
The teams in League A compete to become Nations League champions, with the four group winners qualifying for the knockout phase. A draw determines the semi-final fixtures, with the winners moving to the final and the losers contesting a third place play-off.
In Leagues B, C and D, the group winners are promoted while those at the bottom of their groups in Leagues A and B are relegated. League C has four groups while League D only has two, so the two League C teams due to be relegated are determined by play-outs in March 2024. Based on the overall Nation League ranking of fourth placed teams, first plays fourth and second plays third. Those ties are played over two legs.
Teams are seeded for European Championship qualification according to the overall 2022/23 Nations League rankings and divided into seven pots.
The four Nations League finalists are placed in one ‘Nations League pot’ and drawn into Groups A to D and the next six top teams are placed into Pot 1. Naturally, being seeded in the top pot secures a more favourable draw as top sides avoid other top sides.
England’s poor performance in the Nations League means their ranking has slipped and they are set to be placed in Pot 2. That means their qualification group for Euro 2024 will include a Nations League finalist or any other Pot 1 side.
Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain are among the sides England could draw and their route towards qualification for Euro 2024 will be harder than it was for Euro 2020, when they faced the Czech Republic, Kosovo, Bulgaria and Montenegro.