FIVE NA­TIONS RES­UR­RECTED BY THE NA­TIONS LEAGUE

Soccer 360 - - Champs League -

THE NETHERLANDS

The Dutch have missed out on the most re­cent Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships and World Cup but an ex­cit­ing new side, con­tain­ing Ajax young stars Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie De Jong among oth­ers, topped a group in­clud­ing France and Ger­many. They will be in the fi­nals in Portugal this sum­mer.

SWITZER­LAND

Vladimir Petkovic’s men have built a rep­u­ta­tion based on prag­ma­tism and a steely de­fence rather than a flow­ing at­tack, but in their two Na­tions League home games – against Ice­land and Bel­gium – they net­ted a re­mark­able 11 goals. Their come­back from two goals down to de­feat the Red Devils was par­tic­u­larly re­mark­able.

SCOT­LAND

Scot­land have not qual­i­fied for a ma­jor tour­na­ment fi­nals since 1998 and have suf­fered numer­ous heartaches in the years since. How­ever, they have now been pre­sented with a glo­ri­ous op­por­tu­nity to end that run. Three vic­to­ries in a row en­sured they were pro­moted to Group B and have a play­off spot for the 2020 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships.

KOSOVO

Only two years af­ter be­ing recog­nised by UEFA, Kosovo are now on a ninegame un­beaten run and into Group C of the Na­tions League. Vice-cap­tain Valon Ber­isha plays for Lazio while they have play­ers in the Ger­man and Dutch top flights along­side Bel­gium, Croa­tia and Switzer­land. A na­tion who have mo­men­tum and are worth keep­ing an eye on.

GE­OR­GIA

For­merly part of the USSR, the na­tion have never qual­i­fied for a ma­jor fi­nals since the Soviet bloc split but they now have an ex­cit­ing young squad. They have lost just three of their last 19 in­ter­na­tion­als and dropped just two points in their Na­tions League group. Vladimir Weiss’ side may be un­der the radar but their fu­ture looks bright.

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