By Akbar Mammadov
Time and fixtures of the Azerbaijan national football team for 2020/21 Nations League has been announced.
The draw for the league phase took place at the Beurs van Berlage Conference Centre in Amsterdam, Netherlands on 3 March 2020.
Our national team will fight against Montenegro, Cyprus and Luxemburg in group 1 of the league C.
The first match of the Azerbaijani national football team will be against Luxemburg at home, at 6 pm, on 5 September.
5 September/18:00. Azerbaijan-Luxemburg
8 September/20:45. Cyprus-Azerbaijan
9 October/20:45. Montenegro-Azerbaijan
12 October/18:00. Azerbaijan-Cyprus
12 November/18:00. Azerbaijan-Montenegro
15 November/20:45. Luxemburg-Azerbaijan
To note, the competition will be held from 3 September to 17 November 2020 (league phase), 2-6 June 2021 (Nations League Finals) and 24-29 March 2022 (relegation play-outs).
On 24 September 2019, UEFA announced that a revised format would be used for the 2020–21 edition, the second season of the competition. The 55 UEFA national teams were divided into four leagues, with Leagues A, B and C featuring 16 teams each, divided into four groups of four teams. League D will feature 7 teams divided into two groups, with one containing four teams and the other containing three.
The teams were allocated to leagues based on the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League overall ranking. Each team will now play six matches within their group, except for one group in League D which will play four, using the home-and-away round-robin format on double matchdays in September, October and November 2020.
This format ensures that for almost all groups, teams in the same group play their last matches at the same time. It also increases the number of total league phase matches from 138 to 162 and minimizes the number of friendly matches.
Teams in Nations League also compete for promotion and relegation to a higher or lower league. In Leagues B, C and D, the group winners are promoted, while the last-placed teams of each group in Leagues A and B are relegated. As League C has four groups while League D has only two, the two League C teams which are to be relegated will be determined by play-outs in March 2022.
Based on the Nations League overall ranking of the fourth-placed teams, the first-ranked team will face the fourth-ranked team, and the second-ranked team will face the third-ranked team. Two ties will be played over two legs, with each team playing one leg at home (the higher-ranked team will host the second leg). The team that scores more goals on aggregate over the two legs will remain in League C, while the loser will be relegated to League D.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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