The new season of the UEFA Nations League is in full swing. Indeed, International football is back on the front burner.
The qualifiers for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast have begun. The host country will also partake. There are some tantalising fixtures to look out for.
Even then, many countries, especially in South America, are getting themselves busy with friendlies.
Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema scored for France as they defeated Spain in Italy to win the last edition of the Nations League.
And for much of its earlier fears and criticisms, the competition has presented some top-end fixtures and battles in the four leagues.
Now in its third season, the drama is set to continue. In League A, where the top teams have been grouped into four, A3 appears as the group of death. Italy, Germany, England and Hungary will battle to reach the semifinals.
Some premium encounters are set for this weekend.
Preview Of Nations League R1 (Selected Fixtures)
From Group A4, Belgium will take on the Netherlands at home tonight. The Red Devils who lost out against France in last term’s semi-final will attempt a fight for this season’s title.
Croatia will also do battle against a very exciting Austria side who are on an upward trajectory in recent years.
The defending champions, France will be confident when it hosts Denmark in Group A1.
England will be desperate when it travels to face Hungary tomorrow in Group A3.
Arguably the biggest tie of the weekend will be between Italy and Germany tomorrow night. The Azurri lost quite embarrassingly to Argentina in the Finalissima. Hence, Roberto Mancini is under pressure to perform as it is.
Portugal hosts Switzerland on Sunday night from Group A2. The inaugural champions of the Nations drew with Spain in the first game. They will be keen on their first win.
The Czech Republic entertains Spain on Sunday night. La Roja will fancy a win in this fixture.
Predictions For Nations League R1
Belgium vs Netherlands (goal/goal)
Croatia vs Austria (over 1.5 goals)
France vs Denmark (1)
Hungary vs England (2)
Italy vs Germany (over 2.5 goals)
Portugal vs Switzerland (over 1.5 goals)
Czech Republic vs Spain (2)