NYON, Switzerland (Reuters) -England were handed a tough draw for the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League after they were grouped alongside European champions Italy and Germany in the draw held on Thursday.
England beat Germany in the knockout stages of the Euros earlier this year but lost to Italy in the final in a penalty shootout at Wembley. England will also face Hungary, who they played twice in the World Cup qualifiers.
Nations League champions France were grouped with Denmark, Croatia and Austria, who gained promotion to League A in the last edition of the competition.
Runners-up Spain will play their Iberian neighbours Portugal, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
Belgium, the world’s top-ranked side, face the Netherlands, Poland and Wales. Belgium and Wales met twice in the World Cup qualifiers, while Wales also famously beat them at Euro 2016.
“The big one is Belgium. Off the back of a great performance against them last month, everyone will be talking about that,” Wales manager Robert Page was quoted as saying by the BBC. Wales drew 1-1 with Belgium last month but lost the reverse fixture.
“They’re an outstanding outfit but we’ve proved we’re prepared to go toe-to-toe with them,” added Page.
Scotland and Ukraine, who meet in the World Cup playoff https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-soccer-worldcup-idUKKBN2IB1PJ semi-finals in March, will play each other three times next year after also being drawn in the same Nations League group.
Sweden, Ukraine, Iceland and Bosnia & Herzegovina were relegated to League B, while Wales, Austria, Hungary and Czech Republic were promoted as group winners in the last campaign.
The latest group stage will be wrapped up before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, while the semis and final for the top-tier League A will be played in June 2023.
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE 2022-23 DRAW
Group A1: France, Denmark, Croatia, Austria
Group A2: Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Czech Republic
Group A3: Italy, Germany, England, Hungary
Group A4: Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, Wales
Group B1: Ukraine, Scotland, Ireland, Armenia
Group B2: Iceland, Russia, Israel, Albania
Group B3: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Finland, Romania, Montenegro
Group B4: Sweden, Norway, Serbia, Slovenia
Group C1: Turkey, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Faroe Islands
Group C2: Northern Ireland, Greece, Kosovo, Cyprus/Estonia
Group C3: Slovakia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan/Moldova
Group C4: Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Georgia, Gibraltar
Group D1: Latvia, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Kazakhstan/Moldova
Group D2: San Marino, Malta, Cyprus/Estonia
Matchdays 1-4: June 2-14, 2022
Matchdays 5-6: Sept. 22-27, 2022
Semi-finals: June 14-15, 2023
Final and third-place match: June 18, 2023
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by William Maclean and Ken Ferris)