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Top 15 UNL matches to watch in October 2020

Top 15 UEFA Nations League matches to watch in October 2020 ft England vs Belgium, France vs Portugal, Italy vs Netherlands

October 9, 2020 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The group phase of the second edition of the tournament continues in the coming days and a number of tasty fixtures are in the pipeline.

The second edition of the UEFA Nations League is already underway and Matchday 3 and 4 could not have come at a more opportune time with the year gradually approaching its end. Despite the coronavirus pandemic still lingering, national teams will swing into action in a bid to make a claim for supremacy in Europe. A number of the teams have already had time to prepare with friendlies and will now hope to carry over the momentum into the upcoming competitive outings.

Below, we take a look at some of the top match-ups slated for the remainder of the international break in Europe.

England vs Belgium: Gareth Southgate targets renaissance with revenge for 2018 FIFA World Cup third-place playoff defeat

The Three Lions will be hoping to make a strong case to seal their first appearance in the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League when they welcome Belgium to Wembley on Sunday. The two teams are very much aware of each other's capabilities and, for neutrals, an exciting contest is expected to ensue. Having missed out on the bronze medal as a result of a 2-0 defeat to the Red Devils in Russia, Gareth Southgate's side will be out to get vengeance.

Consequently, a win over Roberto Martinez's men will be a huge boost in the quest to finish as table-toppers of the group. It has been somewhat an underwhelming performance for England who ended their opening game against Denmark in stalemates and ended the matchday 2 encounter with Iceland in a narrow 1-0 win. Despite the plethora of attacking options available to Southgate, the team has struggled to find goals as he is yet to put together a balanced set-up.

Needless to say, they approach Sunday's showdown with Belgium on the back of a 3-0 win over neighbors Wales and could well make amends to their non-scoring form. But it will take some doing to usurp the No.1 ranked country in the world who occupy first position in the group by winning their first two matches and have scored seven goals in the process.

France vs Portugal: The World Cup holders meet continental champions

The two top-ranked teams of Group 3 of League A will go toe-to-toe inside Stade de France in Paris in search of favorable results. The visitors in particular will have fond memories of the arena where an extra-time goal by Eder condemned Les Bleus to a painful Euro 2016 final defeat and handed them their first-ever international trophy. Since then, Fernando Santos' men have gone ahead to win the inaugural edition of the Nations Cup while Sunday's hosts enjoy their status as world champions.

In terms of quality in the respective camps, both sides are not far off from matching each other and, as a result, it will be interesting to see how the classic encounter plays out to affect the outlook of Group 3. At the moment, France only edges Portugal on goal difference with the two teams having six points apiece.

Italy vs Netherlands: Oranje out to make amends for first round defeat

It was a keenly contested affair when Italy and the Netherlands went head to head in September but, eventually, the Azzurri came out on top thanks to Barella's lone goal. Playing as hosts this time around, Roberto Mancini's side will have their sight set on another win that will propel them to seven points after three games.

Relatively, Frank de Boer will be out to get his first win as the new manager of the 2010 FIFA World Cup finalists after falling to Mexico in a friendly on Wednesday. A win over the Italians will take the Oranje to six points and demote Italy to the second position.

Top 15 UEFA Nations League matches to watch:

Saturday, October 10:

  • Spain vs Switzerland Ukraine vs Germany

Sunday, October 11:

  • Ireland Republic vs Wales

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Netherlands

  • England vs Belgium

  • France vs Portugal

  • Poland vs Italy

  • Russia vs Turkey

Tuesday, October 13:

  • Germany vs Switzerland Ukraine vs Spain

Wednesday, October 14:

  • Croatia vs France

  • England vs Denmark

  • Iceland vs Belgium

  • Italy vs Netherlands

  • Portugal vs Sweden


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