The draw for the Nations League has resulted in a rematch between England and the Republic of Ireland.

The draw for the Nations League has resulted in a rematch between England and the Republic of Ireland.

The upcoming edition of the Nations League will mark the first competitive meeting between England and the Republic of Ireland since 1991.

Gareth Southgate’s team and the Republic will also compete against Greece and Finland in Group B2, along with the Euro 2004 champions. Due to Uefa’s strict travel regulations, they were able to avoid a lengthy journey to Kazakhstan and instead, the former Soviet republic was placed in Group B3.

In the last competition between England and the Republic, which was a Euro 92 qualifier at Wembley, Niall Quinn scored a goal to equalize Lee Dixon’s opening goal. The teams also had a friendly in 1995 at Lansdowne Road, but it was stopped because of issues with the crowd. Their most recent encounter was a friendly in November 2020, where England emerged victorious with a score of 3-0.

In Group B4, Wales will be competing against Iceland, Montenegro, and Turkey. Scotland, led by Steve Clarke, will face Croatia, Portugal, and Poland in Group A1. Northern Ireland, managed by Michael O’Neill, has been placed in Group C3 and will be playing against Luxembourg, Bulgaria, and Belarus.

The preliminary round of the league will take place from September to October, followed by the quarter-finals and promotion/relegation play-offs in March 2025. The semi-finals and final will be held in June 2025.

Gareth Southgate, the manager of England’s national football team, stated that their goal is to move up to League A. In an interview with Sky Sports, he acknowledged that they will face challenging opponents, as they have not played some teams in a while. Despite the disappointment of dropping to League B, Southgate believes that every game will be tough. Their main objective is to win their group and earn promotion back to League A.

Southgate admitted England have had mixed fortunes in the Nations League in previous years: “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.

“Finding a balance between scouting new players and winning games is crucial, but unfortunately, we were unable to achieve this in our previous attempt. The competition pits the top teams against each other, and my overall impressions of it have been positive. However, the second instance brings back memories of Covid, and the third one was a difficult time for us as it was leading up to the World Cup.”

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Prior to the start of the Nations League, the European Championship will be held in Germany during the summer. In the previous Euro 2020, England finished as runners-up and manager Southgate remains determined to focus on this year’s tournament. He stated to Sky Sports, “Our sole focus is on [the Euros]. While we are here for the draw of a separate competition, our main priority is preparing for Germany and we are eagerly anticipating the competition.”

“We are extremely satisfied with our team. We are confident in the work we have accomplished in the past six or seven years, but it is crucial to execute and deliver when it truly matters.”