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Nations League is a young tournament for European national teams under the auspices of UEFA. It is intended to replace boring friendlies while preparing for big international tournaments.
And the first draws of this tournament showed how good this idea was. The audience’s interest in the matches of the national teams has increased significantly, because it is much more interesting to watch the matches with the tournament intrigue, especially if you place a bet, for example, onBetWinner.
The next draw of the tournament will take place in 2022. Ireland will play in Division B in Group A1, where its rivals will be Scotland, Ukraine and Armenia. The matches of the group round of the tournament will be held mainly in June 2022 (4 rounds), and in September 2022 (2 rounds), Recall that the winner of the group will rise to Division A, and the team that will take 4th place will fly to Division C.
Next, we will talk in more detail about each team in the group about their chances.
The Ireland squad is, in many respects, a typical British power team. Now it is in 47th place in the FIFA rating, only Armenia is lower in this group
The players of the Irish national team play mainly in the English Premier League. None of the footballers who were called to the team’s camp during the last training camp represent the Irish club. Transfermarkt claims €93 million in total value for the Ireland squad.
The most valuable player on the team is Tottenham defender Matt Dougherty, who is worth 16 million euros.
Other notable players of the team:
- Seamus Coleman (Everton);
- Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle);
- Shane Duffy (Brighton);
- John Egan (Sheffield).
However, the Irish are famous not for their personalities, but for the team. In the last UEFA Nations League, the Irish finished third in Group B, where Wales, Finland and Bulgaria also played.
Scotland is 38th in the FIFA rankings, which is second in the group. The future rival of Ireland is more expensive in terms of the total cost of the squad – 206 million euros.
Scotland’s most expensive and best-known player is Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson.
But the Scots have more than just him. Among famous personalities, they also have:
- Arsenal lateral Kieran Tierney;
- Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay;
- Chelsea talent Bill Gilmore.
In general, Scotland does not shine, but is now one of the best versions of itself in the last 20 years. For example, Scotland played in the final of Euro 2020, although it did not make it out of the group. This was the first hit on a large forum in 23 years, since the 1998 World Cup.
In the last UEFA Nations League, Scotland finished 2nd in Group B of Division B, which also included the Czech Republic, Israel and Slovakia.
The Armenian national team ranks 92nd in the FIFA rankings, that is why they got into the fourth pot in the group B draw. However, in the last League of Nations draw, the Armenians won their group in the C division, which also included North Macedonia, Georgia and Estonia
The total squad of Armenia is estimated at 41 million euros, and 1/3 of the cost of this squad is already aging, but perhaps the best football player of the national team in the 21st century – Henrikh Mkhitaryan (15 million euros). The 32-year-old Mkhitaryan has been playing for the national team since 2007, managed to play 88 matches for it and scored 30 goals in them.
The Armenian national team has never in its history played in the final stages of major tournaments (World Cup or Euro), usually occupying the last or penultimate places in the qualification groups.
The Armenian national team is the weakest team in the group, but not a hopeless outsider. For example, during the last qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup, the Armenian national team took 4th place in their group (with Germany, North Macedonia, Romania, Iceland and Liechtenstein). It is noteworthy that the Armenians were superior to the Icelanders.
Ukraine occupies the highest place in the FIFA ranking among the teams in the group – 25th. The squad of this team is estimated at 204 million euros. All this, as well as a very successful performance at the last Euro, allows us to call Ukraine a small favorite of this generally equal group.
The most expensive player in Ukraine is Oleksandr Zinchenko (25 million euros).
Other famous players include:
- Ruslan Malinovsky (Atalanta);
- Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham);
- Roman Yaremchuk (Benfica);
- Vitaly Mikolenko (Everton).
On the whole, Ukraine is seen as the most serious adversary of Ireland in this group. The team has some great players from the European championships as well as many promising youngsters.
What is UEFA Nations League?
This is a tournament for European national teams, which is intended to replace friendly matches in preparation for major tournaments.
When will the tournament matches take place?
The group stage matches will take place in the summer and autumn of 2022.
Who will Ireland play with?
Ireland’s rivals are Ukraine, Armenia and Scotland. All teams will play 2 matches with each other.