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Nations League 2024/25 draw: England, Republic of Ireland drawn together in Group B2

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England and the Republic of Ireland will face one another in the league phase of the 2024/25 Nations League after the draw was made in Paris on Thursday night.

The two nations were drawn together in Group B2, following England’s relegation from League A in September 2022.

They will also face Finland and Greece during the initial stage of the tournament, which begins in September.

Gareth Southgate’s side last faced the Boys in Green in November 2020, when Harry Maguire, Jadon Sancho and Dominic Calvert-Lewin sealed a 3-0 friendly win behind closed doors at Wembley.

Wales are also in League B, having been placed in Group B4 alongside Iceland, Montenegro and Turkey.

It has been a decade since they faced Iceland and 13 years in September since they faced Montenegro. A 1-1 draw with Turkey in November, however, saw Rob Page’s side miss out on automatic qualification for Euro 2024.

Meanwhile, Scotland will play in League A for the first time, having topped Group B1 in 2022/23.

Steve Clarke’s side will face Croatia and Poland, as well as Portugal, who were the inaugural winners of the tournament back in 2019.

In League C, Northern Ireland have been drawn against Luxembourg, Bulgaria and Belarus.

The Green and White army last faced Bulgaria in 2022 World Cup qualifying in Sofia in October 2021, with a Todor Nedelev double cancelling out Conor Washington’s opener. Their last victory over the nation came in 1979.

Southgate: England’s objective is to get back to League A

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Following the 2024/2025 Nations League draw, England manager Gareth Southgate says his side’s ‘entire focus’ is on Euro 2024.

England manager Gareth Southgate believes the objective for his side is to win their group in order to go back into League A.

Reacting to the draw, he told Sky Sports: “There’s some teams we haven’t played for a while, there’s going to be some difficult games for us.

“I think everybody in England will think it was a big disappointment to drop down to League B but you still have difficult games.

“Obviously our objective will be we have to try to win the group to get back up into League A.”

He added: “We’ve had varied experiences, the first time we finished third, the second two have been complicated for us, in all three versions we’ve used it to look at new players.

“Of course you have to balance looking at new players with winning games and we didn’t manage to do that last time.

“The competition pairs the best with the best and my impressions of it have been really good.

“Unfortunately the second one reminds me of Covid and the third one we didn’t play well and it was the build-up to a World Cup, so that was complicated for us.”

Clarke: If you want to improve you have to play against the best

Scotland boss Steve Clarke said his side had been drawn with “three fantastic opponents” in the Nations League’s top tier.

The Scots, at 36th, are five places below Poland in the FIFA rankings, while 2023 runners-up Croatia and Portugal are 10th and seventh respectively.

Thursday’s draw in Paris sets up Scotland potentially facing Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski.

“It’s our first time in League A so it was always going to be a difficult draw,” said Clarke.

“We’ve got three fantastic opponents and hopefully six very good matches. I’m always a great believer, if you want to improve you have to play against the best teams.

“When you’ve been in football as long as I have, you don’t make too many predictions.

“I predict tough matches but hopefully they will be tough matches for our opponents as well.”

O’Neill: Nations League can help young Northern Ireland team develop

Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill hopes his squad can develop and reach the “next level” after being drawn alongside Luxembourg, Bulgaria and Belarus in the Nations League.

Northern Ireland finished third in their group last time out, but O’Neill believes this year’s competition can help his young squad grow.

He said: “I think they will be good games for the young squad that we have at the minute. It will be a test for them as part of their development as international players.

“We have to make sure that we develop as a team and try and get ourselves to the next level. I think everyone knows we’ve got a new team, a very young team.

“We have to develop this group of players going forward, we have to introduce some new players into the group as well, and the Nations League will give us more opportunity to do that ahead of the World Cup qualifiers next March.”

Nations League 2024/25 draw in full

League A

  • Group A1: Croatia, Portugal, Poland, Scotland.
  • Group A2: Italy, Belgium, France, Israel.
  • Group A3: Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Group A4: Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Serbia.

League B

  • Group B1: Czech Republic, Ukraine, Albania, Georgia.
  • Group B2: England, Finland, Republic of Ireland, Greece.
  • Group B3: Austria, Norway, Slovenia, Kazakhstan.
  • Group B4: Wales, Iceland, Montenegro, Turkey.

League C

  • Group C1: Sweden, Azerbaijan, Slovakia, Estonia.
  • Group C2: Romania, Kosovo, Cyprus, Gibraltar/Lithuania*.
  • Group C3: Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Northern Ireland, Belarus.
  • Group C4: Armenia, Faroe Islands, North Macedonia, Latvia.

*subject to a play-off to decide final placings

League D

  • Group D1: Lithuania/Gibraltar*, San Marino, Liechtenstein.
  • Group D2: Moldova, Malta, Andorra.

*subject to a play-off to decide final placings

Scotland fixtures

Scotland vs Poland – 05/09/24
Portugal vs Scotland – 08/09/24
Croatia vs Scotland – 12/10/24
Scotland vs Portugal – 15/10/24
Scotland vs Croatia – 15/11/24
Poland vs Scotland – 18/11/24

England fixtures

Republic of Ireland vs England – 07/09/24
England vs Finland – 10/09/24
England vs Greece – 10/10/24
Finland vs England – 13/10/24
Greece vs England – 14/11/24
England vs Republic of Ireland – 17/11/24

Republic of Ireland fixtures

Republic of Ireland vs England – 07/09/24
Republic of Ireland vs Greece – 10/09/24
Finland vs Republic of Ireland – 10/10/24
Greece vs Republic of Ireland – 13/10/24
Republic of Ireland vs Finland – 14/11/24
England vs Republic of Ireland – 17/11/24

Wales fixtures

Wales vs Turkey – 06/09/24
Montenegro vs Wales – 09/09/24
Iceland vs Wales – 11/10/24
Wales vs Montenegro – 14/10/24
Turkey vs Wales – 16/11/24
Wales vs Iceland – 19/11/24

Northern Ireland fixtures

Northern Ireland vs Luxembourg – 05/09/24
Bulgaria vs Northern Ireland – 08/09/24
Belarus vs Northern Ireland – 12/10/24
Northern Ireland vs Bulgaria – 15/10/24
Northern Ireland vs Belarus – 15/11/24
Luxembourg vs Northern Ireland – 18/11/24

Nations League 2024/25 schedule

  • Matchday 1: September 5-7 2024
  • Matchday 2: September 8-10 2024
  • Matchday 3: October 10-12 2024
  • Matchday 4: October 13-15 2024
  • Matchday 5: November 14-16 2024
  • Matchday 6: November 17-19 2024
  • Knockout round play-off draw: November 2024
  • Knockout round play-offs: March 20-25 2025
  • League A quarter-finals: March 20-25 2025
  • Final tournament: June 4-8 2025

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