The global sport shutdown may have put an end to Euro 2020 ambitions, but international football returns to the stage this week as the second iteration of the UEFA Nations League gets underway.
The competition was introduced as a way to spice up the often dreary international breaks and the 2018/19 version was an unbridled success, culminating with Portugal winning the inaugural instalment on home soil last summer.
Following on from our UEFA Nations League outright predictions, we’ve delved deeper into the competition to come up with a tasty Nations League group winners accumulator from League A.
And remember, we’ll be covering all the top fixtures over on our UEFA Nations League predictions page.
UEFA Nations League Group Accumulator
- Netherlands to win (League A – Group 1)
- England to win (League A – Group 2)
- France to win (League A – Group 3)
- Germany to win (League A – Group 4)
League A – Group 1: Netherlands to win
Netherlands may have lost Ronald Koeman to Barcelona, but the Dutchmen should have enough about them to top their group again. They beat Spain and Germany to the top spot in the first Nations League and come armed with a fantastic mix of youth and experience.
Virgil van Dijk, Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay have all been around the block a few times but are in their prime right now, while the likes of Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, Donny van de Beek and Steven Bergwijn bring the vigour of youth to a talented looking squad.
Main rivals Italy won just one of their four group games in the 2018/19 UEFA Nations League and continue with a squad that have never really proved themselves on the international stage. Ciro Immobile is the top scorer in their latest squad with just ten goals and, while their first choice defence is still formidable, they are ageing and their midfield and attack leaves a lot to be desired.
League A – Group 2: England to win
The World Cup semi finalists went into the first instalment of the Nations League in high spirits and duly topped their group ahead of Spain and Croatia before losing another semi final in the finals last year.
That squad was already a tantalising one for the future, but things have improved even further since then. Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden have emerged as contenders on the international stage, and when you add that to the likes of Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane you have a potentially devastating attacking setup.
Their main rivals in League A – Group 2 are, of course, the golden age of Belgium. However, that golden age is slowly but surely coming to an end and, while they still possess a huge amount of talent, there are weaknesses in defence and midfield.
League A – Group 3: France to win
France enter the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League as 4/1 favourites for the outright, and it’s no surprise given the vast talents the World Cup winners possess.
This is the team that won the World Cup two years ago, and they’ve only matured since then. Boasting an attacking lineup of Antoine Griezmann, Kingsley Coman and Kylian Mbappe as well as a world class defence this is a team that seemingly has no weakness.
They won their Euro 2020 qualifying group last year with eight wins from ten matches and should have the beating of main contenders Portugal and Croatia, both of whom come into the tournament with an ageing squad.
League A – Group 4: Germany to win
Germany and Spain go into this group almost neck and neck as joint favourites, but it’s a youthful German side that catch the eye.
Their possible starting lineup possesses some of the most highly sought after players on the planet, as well as Champions League winners such as Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich and Serge Gnabry. Add soon-to-be Chelsea playmaker Kai Havertz to the mix and stick the cherry of Timo Werner on top and you have one of the most devastating attacking sides in world football.
If the latest squad selection is anything to go by, main rivals Spain are opting for a more youthful approach than previous years. Only two of their squad have more than 50 caps to their name, while the six selected forwards have just 49 caps and 12 goals between them.
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