International soccer returns to the European calendar as the third round of group-stage matchups kicks off in the UEFA Nations League on Saturday.
Italy, Belgium, Portugal and Spain resume action as the current leaders of their respective pools in League A, but the competition remains wide open approaching the halfway mark in the first round.
The Nations League has been well-received since making its debut in 2018, offering countries an alternative route to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Recent international friendlies threw up some surprise results, including Germany’s 3-3 draw against Turkey and the Netherlands losing 1-0 at home to Mexico. National teams will be expected to field full-strength lineups for the upcoming games, with a selection of top-tier clashes on this weekend’s slate.
What tv channel is UEFA Nations League on?
In the US, fans can watch some UEFA Nations League matches on TUDN while a single matchup will be featured on ESPN. Every UEFA Nations League match is available streaming live on fuboTV.
UEFA Nations League Matchday 3 Schedule
Saturday, October 10
Luxemburg vs. Cyprus, 8:30 am – TUDNxtra 1
Montenegro vs. Azerbaijan, 9:00 am – TUDN
Liechtenstein vs. Gibraltar, 11:30 am – TUDNxtra 2
Faroe Islands vs. Latvia, 12:00 pm – TUDN
Andorra vs. Malta, 2:30 pm – TUDNxtra 3
Spain vs. Switzerland, 2:45 pm – TUDN, UniMas
Ukraine vs. Germany, 2:45 pm – TUDNxtra 1
Sunday, October 11
Ireland vs Wales, 9:00 am – TUDN
England vs. Belgium, 12 pm – TUDN
Croatia vs. Sweden (Group A3), 12 pm – TUDNxtra 3
Bosnia & Herzegovina vs. Netherlands, 12 pm – TUDNxtra 2
Estonia vs Macedonia, 12 pm – TUDNxtra 7
Finland vs Bulgario, 12 pm – TUDNxtra 4
Lithuania vs Belarus, 12 pm – TUDNxtra 6
Norway vs Romania, 12 pm – TUDNxtra 5
France vs. Portugal, 2:45 pm – ESPN, TUDN
Poland vs. Italy, 2:45 pm – TUDNxtra 1
Scotland vs. Slovakia, 2:45 pm – TUDNxtra 7
Greece vs Moldova, 2:45 pm – TUDNxtra 9
Northern Ireland vs Austria, 2:45 pm – TUDNxtra 4
Iceland vs. Denmark, 2:45 pm – TUDNxtra 2
Israel vs Czech Republic, 2:45 pm – TUDNxtra 6
Kosovo vs. Slovenia, 2:45 pm – TUDNxtra 8
Russia vs Turkey, 2:45 pm – TUDNxtra 3
Serbia vs Hungary, 2:45 pm – TUDNxtra 5
France vs. Portugal (A3)
TV Channels: ESPN, TUDN
Live Stream: fuboTV
Group A3 is the only assortment featuring two teams to have won each of their Nations League matchups thus far, though Portugal hold the slimmest of advantages over France on goal difference.
Nations League titleholders Portugal looked resilient in a 0-0 friendly draw at home to Spain on Wednesday, a fourth clean sheet in the last five games for Fernando Santos’ side.
However, the incumbent world champions will offer a much more potent threat at the Stade de France in Paris. Les Bleus bashed Ukraine 7-1 in their own midweek friendly, though podcaster Jeremy Smith highlighted Andriy Shevchenko’s side were far from full strength:
Cristiano Ronaldo’s European champions will attempt to prove they’re still the true kings of the continent by handing France their first defeat in 10 games, an unbeaten streak stretching back to June 2019.
Portugal beat Didier Deschamps’ men in extra time to lift the Euro 2016 crown the last time these teams met, though the score will have to be settled within the 90 minutes this time around.
England vs. Belgium (A2)
TV Channel: TUDN
Live Stream: fuboTV
Belgium had failed to beat England in regulation time over the course of their first six meetings, the first of those coming back in 1954. However, the Red Devils proved some modern superiority by taming the Three Lions twice in as many matchups at the 2018 FIFA World Cup—once during the group stage and again in the competition's third-place play-off.
England failed to score across the 180 minutes of those games in Russia, and their Nations League has got off to a timid start with one goal in two outings. They sit second in Group A2 after drawing 0-0 with Denmark in September, and defeat at Wembley Stadium on Sunday will all but hand first place in the pool to Roberto Martinez & Co..
It’s uncertain as to whether Jadon Sancho, Ben Chilwell or Tammy Abraham will be involved for the hosts after they breached coronavirus restrictions by attending the latter’s birthday party in London:
Youngsters Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood were also omitted from Southgate’s squad after breaching guidelines during the last international break, via the Manchester Evening News.
Belgium have suffered personnel setbacks of their own and will be without Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard or younger brother Thorgan, to name a couple, via journalist Kristof Terreur:
Belgium were one of two teams to make it through UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying without dropping a single point, Italy being the other to post a perfect record of 10 wins from 10. Their last competitive loss came in the previous Nations League, a 5-2 defeat to Switzerland almost two years ago (Nov. 2018).
Ukraine vs. Germany (A4)
TV Channel: TUDN
Live Stream: fuboTV
The Nations League has thus far proved a bit of a bogey tournament for Germany, who failed to win any of their four matches in the inaugural competition and have started this year’s edition with back-to-back draws.
The Group A4 hopefuls have some catching up to do on leaders Spain and will hope fortunes change for the better in Matchday 3 when they travel to Ukraine.
Die Mannschaft have never lost to their Eastern European opponents in six previous meetings (three wins, three draws). However, it’s worth highlighting each of their three draws came in their capital, Kiev, where Sunday’s showdown will take place.
Joachim Low’s side surrendered the lead on three occasions to draw at home to Turkey in a friendly Wednesday, leading 1990 World Cup-winner Lothar Matthaus to criticise the head coach, via DW Sports:
Shevchenko’s side sit ahead of Sunday’s visitors after beating Switzerland 2-1 in their last home game, though a string of absences means he’ll be relying on certain youngsters to step up to the plate.
Incredibly, 45-year-old assistant coach Oleksandr Shovkovskiy was picked for the squad that lost 7-1 to France due to the absences caused by a spike in coronavirus cases. It’s uncertain whether the former Dynamo Kiev stopper—who last played professionally in 2016—will be retained as an emergency option to face Germany.