01 Sep 2020: UEFA Nations League 2020-21: All that you need to know
The UEFA Nations League 2020-21 starts on Thursday, with all the home countries playing twice in the next week.
The UEFA has managed to squeeze in an international break ahead of the new domestic seasons starting in several top nations in Europe.
Here we highlight all that you need to know about the UEFA Nations League 2020-21.
Matches: Matches to be played in three consecutive months
Every European nation, besides Gibraltar, Liechtenstein and San Marino, will be featuring in six UEFA Nations League games over three international breaks in consecutive months.
Matchday 1 and 2 will be held on September 3-5 and 6-8.
Matchday 3 and 4 will be held on October 10-11, 13-14.
Matchday 5 and 6 will be held on November 14-15 and 17-18 respectively.
Changes: Changes introduced in the UEFA Nations League 2020-21
UEFA increased the size of the top three tiers to 16 countries.
Each group will have four teams instead of three in most cases.
Also, UEFA has decreased the size of the bottom tier to seven.
The reshuffle means none of the 12 teams relegated in the inaugural tournament - including Germany, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland - had to drop divisions.
Format: What is the format this time around?
Last year, the UEFA announced that a revised format would be used for the 2020-21 edition,
The 55 national teams were divided into four leagues.
Leagues A, B and C will feature 16 teams each, divided into four groups of four teams.
Meanwhile, League D will feature 7 teams divided into two groups, with one containing four teams and the other containing three.
Factors: Key things to keep in mind
In League A, teams compete to become the tournament's champions. The four group winners of League A qualify for the Nations League Finals, which is played in a knockout format consisting of the semi-finals, third place play-off, and final.
In Leagues B, C and D, the group winners are promoted.
Meanwhile, the last-placed teams of each group in Leagues A and B are relegated.
Fixtures: League A: Crucial games in matchday 1 and 2
Matchday 1 - Friday, 12:45 AM IST: Germany vs Spain (Group 4), Sunday, 12:15 AM IST: Portugal vs Croatia (Group 3)
Matchday 2 - Tuesday, 12:15 AM IST: Netherlands vs Italy, Wednesday, 12:15 AM IST: France vs Croatia (Group 3).