The Nations League group stages came to an end this week, which means that the four teams that will be competing in the finals of the competition have now been decided.
None of the teams that competed for the prize in the previous instalment will be in attendance for the finals next year, which includes the reigning holders Portugal, who were forced to settle for a second-place finish after finishing below France.
Portugal won the 2019 finals with home advantage, which is something that Italy will be hoping to replicate in October next year.
Italy Have Home Advantage
Due to the 2019 finals being the only previous instalment of the event to draw on, it’s difficult to argue that home advantage isn’t going to benefit Italy. It has been a disappointing couple of years for Italy, as they weren’t able to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
That was the first time since 1958 that the Squadra Azzurra wasn’t able to reach the group stages of the World Cup. That disappointment cost Gian Piera Ventura his job, but the Italian Football Federation moved quickly for his replacement, as Roberto Mancini was appointed.
Since then, Italy have been resurgent, as they topped their European Championship qualifying group with a perfect record to book their spot in the re-arranged EUROs. The Nations League group presented them with a big challenge, as they came up against the Netherlands and Poland.
Though, Mancini’s side were excellent throughout their six group games and managed to top Group A1 one point ahead of the Dutch. Of course, Italy will have a chance for a major success before the Nations League finals in the form of the Euros, but any success for the nation will present a huge step forward in their development.
France Likely Favourites
Italy will not go into the Nations League finals as the favourites, as they will likely need to overcome the reigning world champions at some point during the competition.
France will remain the team to beat in the finals, as they could potentially be looking to complete a full set of international trophies if they win the Euros next summer.
If they are successful in doing so, then they will be the first country to have won all three major trophies that are open to national sides.
The ‘Bleus’ were excellent throughout their group phase, as they topped a group that also included European champions Portugal, Croatia and Sweden. France won five of their six Nations League games in Group A3, with their only draw coming in Paris against Portugal.
The talent of the squad can’t be understated, which means that they will be the team that the opponents will be wary of.
Spain & Belgium Have Solid Chances
Spain and Belgium will round off the teams involved in the finals of the Nations League. Belgium’s golden generation are slowly entering their last chance to win a major trophy but will remain one of the favourites to achieve success should they have a favourable draw.
Like France, Belgium won five of their six group games, with their only defeat coming at Wembley against England. However, with players like Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, they are hard to rule out.
Spain have been going under the radar since their disappointment at the 2018 World Cup, but their Nations League results could indicate that they are back on track.
The standout result from their campaign came in the final round of fixtures as they inflicted Germany’s heaviest ever competitive defeat.
Spain ran out 6-0 winners in a dazzling performance, with Ferran Torres scoring a hat-trick in the win. However, next summer will be a bigger challenge for Luis Enrique’s side.
Here you have it, a prediction of the UEFA Nations League Final Four, which happens next September. We are sure the competition will be as exciting to watch as TwinSpires Kentucky Derby horse race. Who are you backing to win the competition and succeed to Portugal?