You ready? Sure? We have … a lot of Nations League football to take in tonight before this frenetic week of international action takes its leave. It’s the final round of fixtures in the 2020 edition and fortunately there is lots and lots to play for. Let’s get straight down to the nitty gritty with the fixtures, permutations and ramifications.
Group 1 – Bosnia & Herzegovina v Italy; Poland v Netherlands
If Italy win against relegated Bosnia & Herzegovina, they win the group and reach next October’s’s finals. The Netherlands, a point behind them, could overhaul them if they win and the Italians lose. Italy are better off than the Netherlands on head-to-head so a draw won’t do for the Dutch under any circumstances. Poland, two points behind, would win the group if they triumph in Chorzow and Italy lose.
Group 2 – Belgium v Denmark; England v Iceland
England’s dead rubber with Iceland is being covered in depth elsewhere. The real action comes in Leuven, where Belgium win the group unless Denmark win and overtake them.
Group 1 – Austria v Norway; Northern Ireland v Romania
Norway have to beat Austria – by a better score than 1-0 as far as I can make out, but by all means correct me – to win the group and get promotion. That is because Romania were today awarded a 3-0 win over Norway for their postponed match of Sunday, which was called off because the Norwegian government would not let the team travel due to Covid-19 restrictions. Norway do play today, but with a team full of new call-ups. Owing to that ruling by Uefa, Northern Ireland are relegated regardless of how they fare this evening.
Group 2 – Czech Republic v Slovakia; Israel v Scotland
Scotland play Israel for what seems the zillionth time in recent months and, if they win in Netanya, they’ll win the group and reach the top tier. Crest of a wave! Should they fail to triumph, Czech Republic can pip them with a win in the ex-Czechoslovakia derby. Slovakia are down unless they win and Israel do not.
Group 3 – Hungary v Turkey; Serbia v Russia
Russia and Hungary are tied at the top with eight points, but Russia edge it on head-to-head. So that means Hungary need to outdo whatever outcome the Russians manage in Serbia – which won’t be possible if Russia win! Serbia need to win and hope Turkey lose, otherwise they’re down to the third tier.
Group 4 – Republic of Ireland v Bulgaria; Wales v Finland
Wales will go up as group winners as long as they avoid defeat! For their part, Republic of Ireland will stay up as long as they don’t lose to Bulgaria.
Group 2 – Armenia v North Macedonia; Georgia v Estonia
The match in Yerevan is ongoing, but Armenia need to win if they are to leapfrog the Macedonians and go up. Georgia v Estonia is a very rare dead rubber – nothing to play for there, with the Estonians down to the relegation play-offs (which are A Thing in League C) and Georgia unable to progress.
Group 3 – Greece v Slovenia; Kosovo v Moldova
Greece need to beat Slovenia in order to leapfrog them and win the group. Moldova will stay up for sure if they win in Kosovo, otherwise Kosovo are safe.
Still here? Well done. We have all this and more ahead of us, and it probably won’t be dull. 7.45pm kick-offs (UK time) all round.