England discover who they will face in the inaugural UEFA Women's Nations League
See the 2023-24 UEFA Women's Nations League draw in full
England have found out who they will face in the inaugural UEFA Women’s Nations League following the draw on Tuesday afternoon.
The Women’s Nations League will follow a similar format to the men’s competition and will also act as Europe's 2024 Olympic qualifiers, with the two finalists joining hosts France in securing one of the three places.
The final standings in the inaugural Women’s Nations League during 2023 will also be reflected in the UEFA EURO 2025 European Qualifiers Phase, which will begin in early 2024. (You can learn more about the European Qualifiers Phase process in the video below)
The 51 competing nations for the first-ever Nations League were divided into three Leagues during the draw at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, with two sets of 16 and another of 19 based on the most recent national team coefficient rankings.
England earned the right to be placed in League A, where the 16 teams were split into four groups.
And it was decided the Lionesses will face the Netherlands, Belgium and neighbours Scotland as part of League A1, with the sides playing home and away matches against each other.
The Netherlands are a side the England staff and players know well, with head coach Sarina Wiegman and members of her coaching team guiding the Dutch national team to EURO glory in 2017 and the World Cup final in 2019.
The Lionesses last faced the Netherlands in June last year and whilst England ran out 5-1 winners on that occasion, the Dutch are now under the guidance of Andries Jonker and currently ranked eighth in the world.
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Insane rondos, finishing drills and goal-saving tackles during the Lionesses' recent camp
Belgium are another team England know well having faced each twice in the last year, with the Lionesses winning 3-0 in June and 6-1 during February’s Arnold Clark Cup.
Scotland have not faced England since 2019, when the Lionesses won 2-1 thanks to goals from Nikita Parris and Ellen White.
Like Belgium, Scotland, who are ranked 23rd in the world, have not qualified for this summer’s World Cup but last month did beat finalists Australia and Costa Rica.
England v Scotland - Friday 22 September
Netherlands v England - Tuesday 26 September
England v Belgium - Friday 27 October
Belgium v England - Tuesday 31 October
England v Netherlands - Friday 1 December
Scotland v England - Tuesday 5 December
The four League A group winners will qualify for the knockout finals between 21 and 28 February 2023, which consist of two semi-finals, a third-place game and the final, with the two finalists joining France in securing one of Europe's three 2024 Olympic qualifying places.
The teams which finish fourth in their League A groups will be relegated to League B and replaced by the winners of the League B groups.
The third-placed teams in League A groups will play off against the second-placed teams from League B, with a similar process continuing between Leagues B and C.
2023-24 UEFA Women’s Nations League draw in full
UEFA Women's National Teams' competitions explained
How the UEFA Women's Nations League, Olympic qualification and EURO qualification are interlinked (video by UEFA)
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