UEFA Nations League draw with hopes for promotion
Greece received an inviting draw for the first edition of the UEFA Nations League and will match up against Hungary, Finland, and Estonia in Group B of League C.
Greece were drawn into Group B of League C in Wednesday’s UEFA Nations League draw along with Hungary (pot 1), Finland (pot 3), and Estonia (pot 4) - Greece were in pot two. The Ethniki will play each team in home and away fixtures from September through November 2018 with hopes of finishing first in the group.
First place will secure Greece promotion to League B for the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League and more importantly, a second chance effort to qualify for Euro 2020 via the playoffs if Greece do not qualify for Euro 2020 via the actual qualifying process (starts in March 2019). The exact competition format can be found here.
Estonia are familiar opponents to Greece as the two were paired in the same 2018 World Cup Qualifying group. Greece were victorious 0:2 on the road in Tallinn while the return fixture at the Karaiskakis stadium ended in a disappointing goalless draw. Both Finland and Hungary were in Greece's EURO 2016 qualifying group, where Greece finished in last place with just six points from 10 matches. During that disastrous campaign, Greece drew Finland 1:1 in Helsinki and fell 0:1 in Greece while managing a 4:3 win over Hungary at the Karaiskakis stadium and a goalless draw in Budapest.
After receiving the favorable draw (on paper), coach Michael Skibbe stated “We were drawn into a competitive group and we will have a difficult task ahead. In general, the teams in our group are good defensively and this might ask some additional questions in group play. We know Estonia from World Cup qualifying as they gave us a lot of trouble on the pitch. Finland is an organized team with a good defense while Hungary was fantastic during the World Cup qualifying campaign.
Our goal is promotion to League B and of course to qualify for EURO 2020 via the qualifying process. UEFA’s new competition provides an opportunity for all of the teams and players to improve.”
The schedule of group play will be released at a later time.