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'Nations League' to replace international friendlies

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New 'Nations League' proposals were ratified by Michel Platini's UEFA Executive Committee yesterday. JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP/Getty Images

New 'Nations League' proposals were ratified by Michel Platini's UEFA Executive Committee yesterday. JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP/Getty Images

New 'Nations League' proposals were ratified by Michel Platini's UEFA Executive Committee yesterday. JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP/Getty Images

UEFA has confirmed its Nations League format which replaces most international friendlies from 2018.

The tournament guarantees top-ranked UEFA teams playing each other more often, and offers a second qualifying route through playoffs for the World Cup and European Championship.

As revealed by UEFA in March, the main tournament is played on the six international match dates from September to November.

UEFA rankings will allocate 54 nations into four divisions. The 12 best teams are in three-team groups in League A.

League A group winners advance to a Final Four in June 2019 to decide the inaugural Nations League champion.

Ten Euro 2020 qualifying groups are played from March to November 2019.

The last four Euro 2020 places are decided in March 2020 playoffs featuring teams based on Nations League standings.

Sturridge goes to LA

Liverpool have sent striker Daniel Sturridge to Los Angeles to continue his rehabilitation from the thigh injury which has sidelined him for most of the season.

The 25-year-old has not played for the club since August 31 after he initially strained a thigh on international duty with England. On the eve of his comeback he pulled a calf muscle in his first full training session back with the first team and just when he appeared to have got over that he sustained another, different, thigh injury which has ruled him out until the new year.


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