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UEFA Nations League Matchday 1: Preview and Best Bets

Thu, Sep 6, 12:57pm by Staff Writer

The UEFA Nations League begins on Friday morning, with 55 nations from across Europe competing in a group and then knockout tournament.

Countries are split into four leagues – A, B, C and D – based on their UEFA ranking, with the best sides in League A such as England, Spain, Italy and Germany.

Spain are favourites to win the inaugural 2018/19 UEFA Nations League at $4.50 at Sportsbet. Belgium and Italy are both priced at $5.50, with Germany a $6 shot.

The top nation of each group will advance to the Nations League finals, with the other group winners from League A. Finishing on the bottom of the group would see teams relegated to League B, with teams promoted by finishing atop their groups.

Four teams will qualify via the Nations League playoffs for the Euro 2020 tournament.

Germany versus France

Friday, 7 September 2018 at 4:45am AEST at Allianz Arena, Munich

World champions France are in action for the first time since their triumph in Russia as they head to Munich to take on the 2014 World Cup winners Germany.

The two teams can’t be split in the market, with Germany paying $2.50 and France also paying $2.50 at Sportsbet. The draw is priced at $3.10.

The majority of the Les Bleus squad that won the World Cup has been retained for this match, with the exception of captain Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda who are both out with injury.

The German’s will want to bounce back after a poor World Cup campaign.

Coach Joachim Low alluded to changes in the squad as they prepare for a new era, with a good mix of youth and experience in the team.

The German’s hunger to perform at home may be what gets them over the line in this one, but it will be a close game nonetheless.

Best bet- Germany to win at $2.50

England versus Spain

Sunday, 9 September 2018 at 4:45am AEST at Wembley Stadium, England

England will receive a hero’s welcome as they play their first game on home soil since their fourth place at the FIFA World Cup.

The Three Lions are $2.50 favourites to defeat Spain at Wembley, with the visitors paying $2.60.

The UEFA Nations League will give opportunities for players of the future, with England coach Gareth Southgate alluding to resting some of his more high profile players, including captain Harry Kane.

The Spaniards begin a new era with former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique in charge of the national side, after their woeful World Cup campaign.

It s a changing of the guard for Spain, with veterans Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and David Silva all now retired. The impact of their absence will surely be felt in Sunday morning’s match.

England relied heavily on the set piece to score goals at the World Cup, so it will be intriguing to see if they are a threat from open play.

It is difficult to lean one way or the other in this fixture, so we are sitting on the fence and tipping a draw.

Best bet- England and Spain to draw at $3.10

Italy ($1.67) hosts Poland ($5) in Bologna in another League A fixture, with Switzerland ($1.72) meeting Iceland ($4.50) in Bern.

The stand out fixture in League B is between Wales ($1.83) and Ireland ($4.20) that takes place on Friday morning in Cardiff.

UEFA Nations League Matchday 1 Odds – Sportsbet

Germany $2.50 Draw $3.10 France $2.50

Italy $1.67 Draw $3.20 Poland $5

Switzerland $1.72 Draw $3.10 Iceland $4.50

England $2.50 Draw $3.10 Spain $2.60

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