We are now at the final four of the 2022/23 Nations League and there will be yet another new name on the trophy.
It feels like an age since the group stage finished, with the final games wrapped up in September 2022, and the break was of course made longer by the fact we have had a World Cup in the winter. France are the defending champions of the Nations League, beating Spain in the 2020/21 final, but Les Bleus bowed out at the group stage this time around, finishing with just five points from their six games.
Croatia topped France’s group to make their finals debut, joined by Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. The latter are hosting the finals tournament and will be hoping to make home advantage count across the four-day mini tournament which, remember, does include a third place play-off.
So, who’s the favourite? Here are the latest odds to win the 2022/23 Nations League.
Odds to win the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League
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2022/23 UEFA Nations League fixtures
Wednesday 14 June
- Netherlands vs Croatia (7:45pm UK time)
Thursday 15 June
- Spain vs Italy (7:45pm UK time)
Sunday 18 June
- Loser semi-final 1 vs Loser semi-final 2 (2pm UK time)
- Winner semi-final 1 vs Winner semi-final 2 (7:45pm UK time)
Who are the favourites to win the Nations League?
The outside pick, Croatia secured their place in the finals over the last two rounds of fixtures in the Nations League group stages. Going into the September international break last year, Denmark were actually the favourites to advance from Group A1, but Croatia beat the Danes 2-1 to overtake them, eventually holding onto top spot with a 3-1 victory against Austria.
It was a nice way to round off the group for Croatia as they had started it with a 3-0 home defeat to Austria, as part of a winless start which also saw them draw with France. But after the draw with France, Croatia picked themselves up to win their final four games, beating Les Bleus as well as two victories over Denmark. It was a far cry from their previous two Nations League group stage campaigns which saw Croatia win just two games across 10 matches, with seven defeats.
However, they aren’t favoured to win the tournament, facing hosts Netherlands in the semi-finals.
This is Italy’s second appearance in the Nations League finals, having finished third last year, losing to Spain in the semi-finals but beating Belgium in the play-off. Roberto Mancini’s men were placed in what looked to be a pretty tough group alongside Germany, England and Hungary and while they only finished one point clear at the top, their challengers were the surprise talking point.
The Azzurri won three of their six group games, beating second-placed Hungary home and away on top of a 1-0 victory over England — the second victory over Hungary coming on the final day of Group A3 fixtures which saw Italy leapfrog their opponents. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing as Italy were beaten 5-2 by Germany in Mönchengladbach, only scoring two late consolation goals having gone 5-0 down in 70 minutes.
Unfortunately for Italy, their semi-final at this year’s Nations League is a repeat of their 2021 matchup against Spain which ended in defeat.
Runners-up in 2021, Spain beat Italy in the semi-finals but were beaten by France in the final despite taking the lead through Mikel Oyarzabal, losing to goals from Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe. But they are back in the finals having topped their group ahead of Portugal, Switzerland and Czech Republic.
The group stage was a bit of a rollercoaster for Spain who drew their opening two games against Portugal and Czech Republic, needing a 90-minute goal from Inigo Martinez to secure a point against the latter. That was followed up by victories over Switzerland and Czech Republic which had Spain top of the group and favoured to reach the finals.
However, there was still time for drama. First, Spain lost 2-1 to Switzerland to drop to second in the group but a 1-0 win over Portugal, secured by Alvaro Morata’s 88th-minute goal was enough to put La Roja back on top, ahead of their Iberian rivals.
Back in the Nations League finals after finishing as runners-up in the inaugural tournament, beating England in the semi-finals and then losing to Portugal in the showpiece, Netherlands will be hoping they can come out on top as hosts.
Placed in Group A4 alongside Belgium, Poland and Wales, Netherlands were practically perfect in securing their spot in the finals, blowing away everyone else. The Oranje dropped just two points in a draw against Poland, in which they came from 2-0 down to secure a point, but they had already started the league by beating Belgium 4-1 and a dramatic 2-1 victory over Wales. There was another late late win over Wales — both games seeing Wales equalise in injury time only for Netherlands to score after — and two more victories against Poland and Belgium to secure 16 points from a possible 18.
The only unbeaten side in League A, with the best points return and home advantage, Netherlands are the slight favourites especially as they face outsiders Croatia in the semi-finals knowing one of Italy and Spain will be knocked out.