Your ultimate guide to the Nations League finals
Four giants of European football will battle it out in the Nations League finals this week.
After Portugal lifted the inaugural crown in 2019, Spain, Italy, Belgium and France are vying to follow in their footsteps.
Ahead of the action, we fill you in on all the important information with our ultimate Nations League guide.
What is the Nations League?
The Nations League is a biennial tournament created by UEFA as an alternative to friendlies in an attempt to improve the quality of international football.
It sees Europe’s 55 teams compete against each other across four leagues.
The top tier, League A, contains Europe’s top 16 teams and they were split into four groups to compete for a place in the semi-finals.
After playing each other twice, the four teams finishing first in each group earned a place in the final four.
Who qualified for the Nations League finals?
The current world and European champions both feature in a star-studded final four.
Euro 2020 winners Italy will hope to pick up their second major trophy in three months as they face Spain, while Belgium and France collide in the second semi.
How did they qualify?
After winning just one of their opening four games, Italy narrowly edged out 2019 finalists the Netherlands by one point in Group 1, which also featured Poland and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
It was a more straightforward affair for Belgium, who overcame Denmark, England and Iceland to finish five points clear at the top of Group 2.
With both sides unbeaten ahead of their clash in Group 3’s penultimate game, a narrow 1-0 victory for France over Portugal was enough to secure qualification for Les Bleus.
A hotly-contested Group 4 saw Spain claim their place in the final four courtesy of an impressive campaign, which included a memorable 6-0 win over Germany in November 2020.
Where and when are the Nations League finals?
After silencing the England faithful at Wembley in July, the Azzurri will have home advantage in their favour with both semi-finals and the final taking place in Italy.
Their tie against Spain is set for the San Siro in Milan on Wednesday at 7.45pm (UK time).
The tournament heads to Turin the following night, with the Juventus Stadium playing host to Belgium vs France at 7.45pm.
The successful semi-finalists will lock horns at the San Siro on Sunday at 7.45pm, while the losing pair collide in the third place play-off earlier in the day at 2pm in Turin.
Who are the favourites to win the Nations League?
The smart money will be on the Italians, who are currently on a record-breaking 36-game unbeaten streak.
But Europe’s top-ranked team Belgium will be desperate to finally secure some silverware after falling short at previous international tournaments.
But you would be foolish to write off France or Spain, who won two of the last three World Cups between them, from going all the way.
Nations League finals schedule
Italy vs Spain (Wednesday, 7.45pm, San Siro, Sky Sports Football)
Belgium vs France (Thursday, 7.45pm, Juventus Stadium, Sky Sports Football)
Third place play-off
Italy/Spain vs Belgium/France (Sunday, 2pm, Juventus Stadium, Sky Sports Football)
Italy/Spain vs Belgium/France (Sunday, 7.45pm, San Siro, Sky Sports Football)