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UEFA Nations League draw in full



The draw for the group stage of the next UEFA Nations League has been confirmed which sees England in the group of death.

The Three Lions will seek revenge against Italy, who beat them in the final of Euro 2020 this summer, while also facing rivals Germany and foes Hungary, fresh from earning a 1-1 draw at Wembley in October.

Gareth Southgate and co reached the final four of the Nations League in 2019 but failed to make the same stage last time out.

Wales will play Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland, looking to avoid relegation in what will be a difficult task.

Meanwhile, Scotland and Republic of Ireland are set to meet in League B, additionally facing tough trips to Ukraine and Armenia as they battle for promotion in League A.

Finally of the home nations, Northern Ireland will face Kosovo, Greece and one of Cyprus or Estonia.

France won the second edition of the Nations League, beating Spain 2-1 in October at the San Siro, making Didier Deschamps’ side the second to triumph in the Nations League after Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal to victory two years ago.

The first six matchdays of the group stage are set take place in June and September.

They will somewhat act as warm-up matches nations who have qualified for the World Cup in Qatar, taking place this winter.

But the 2021-21 Nations League is not over yet.

In March, there will be a relegation play-off to determine which of the following nations will remain in League C and who will be drop down to League D.

Moldova face Kazakhstan and Cyprus are up against Estonia.

The first legs are on March 24 with the second legs on March 29, the same dates as the World Cup qualifying play-offs which Scotland and Wales are involved in.

UEFA Nations League 2021-22 draw in full:

League A:

Group A1: Austria, Croatia, Denmark, France

Group A2: Czech Republic, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain

Group A3: Hungary, England, Germany, Italy

Group A4: Wales, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium

League B:

Group B1: Armenia, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Ukraine

Group B2: Albania, Isreal, Russia, Iceland

Group B3: Montenegro, Romania, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Group B4: Slovenia, Serbia, Norway, Sweden

League C:

Group C1: Faroe Islands, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Turkey

Group C2: Cyprus/Estonia, Kosovo, Greece, Northern Ireland

Group C3: Kazakhstan/Moldova, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Slovakia

Group C4: Gibraltar, Georgia, North Macedonia, Bulgaria

League D:

Group D1: Latvia, Andorra, Kazakhstan/Moldova, Liechtenstein

Group D2: Malta, Cyprus/Estonia, San Marino

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Four arrests made as West Ham fans clash with police after Man Utd defeat



Four people have been arrested after disorder in the West Ham section of Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

The Hammers suffered a 1-0 defeat against Manchester United after a late Marcus Rashford goal.

Footage later surfaced showing disorder in the away end with West Ham investigating the reports of trouble.

And Greater Manchester Police confirmed to Sky Sports News that four arrests have been made, including a 33-year-old on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker.

A 21-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of drunk and disorderly behaviour, possession of cocaine and common assault.

A 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of throwing missiles and a 23-year-old man arrested on suspicion of a public order offence.

Greater Manchester Police added: “Two other men were detained and will be summonsed at a later date for football-related offences.”

West Ham felt hard done by after their narrow defeat, with some question marks over whether Rashford’s winner should have been ruled out for offside.

Speaking after the game, Hammers manager David Moyes said of the goal: ” I’ve not seen it again, by all accounts everyone seems to think it’s fine so we have to trust VAR that they’re getting decisions right.”

Discussing the game, he added: “I just see it as them having a strong squad. I didn’t think them bringing them on made it that much different,” he said.

“We defended well enough but we completely switched off, we didn’t do things you learn as a young player when trying to see games out.

“We had a good defensive organisation but we lacked what we’ve had in recent weeks, our attacking play wasn’t at the level. There was a lot of good things about it but the result is the key thing.

“I’m not coming to these games to roll over and lose, I’m really disappointed with the result but really pleased with how the players have performed.

“For long parts today I was pleased with them, defensively rather than our attacking play. We’ve moved up a level or two over the last year, I’m enjoying it but that result today was hard to take.”

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Pep Guardiola to be offered Holland job when he decides to leave Man City



Pep Guardiola will be offered the chance to take Total Football back home when he decides to leave Manchester City – by becoming manager of Holland.

The KNVB (Dutch FA) have drawn up plans to convince the City boss that he should realise his dream of becoming an international coach with the Oranje once his Etihad reign comes to an end.

Guardiola, 51, has a contract with City that expires in the summer of 2023.

And the Premier League champions are hoping the Catalan can be persuaded to extend his stay in Manchester even further.

The Dutch sounded out Guardiola about his future plans before he signed a new two-year extension with City last August.

They were told that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss had unfinished business with the Blues.

But a future link-up was not discounted.

Guardiola is represented by his brother, Pere, who recently joined forces with influential Dutch agency SEG.

He has made no secret that he harbours an ambition to manage a top international nation.

And the prospect of taking charge of the country of his mentor Johan Cruyff would be tantalising given it was Holland’s brilliant team of the 1970s that introduced Total Football to the world.

Cruyff brought Guardiola through from Barcelona’s youth team to play as a deep-lying midfielder in the team that won the club’s first Champions League in 1992.

The late Dutchman’s influence on the City boss is so profound that Guardiola once said: “I knew nothing about football before knowing Cruyff.”

His coaching beliefs have been shaped by the Total Football philosophy that had Cruyff at its heart when Holland reached the 1974 World Cup final before losing to West Germany.

The KNVB turned to 70-year-old Louis van Gaal for a third time after sacking Frank de Boer in the summer following a disappointing Euros.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang provides update after return to Arsenal for heart tests



Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has confirmed he’s “absolutely fine” after returning to London for health checks.

The Arsenal forward was away at AFCON with Gabon when he experienced some heart issues.

A scan revealed possible issues after Aubameyang tested positive for Covid 19 in the lead up to the tournament.

The Gunners recalled the 32-year-old, who is currently not being selected by Mikel Arteta following a disciplinary breach.

Aubameyang has taken to social media to share that he is “completely healthy” following further tests.

He said on Instagram : “Hi guys, I came back to London to do some additional checks, and I’m very happy to say that my heart is absolutely fine and I’m completely healthy!! Really appreciate all the messages over the last few days and I’m already back at it”

Gabon boss Patrice Neveu revealed that Arsenal were keen to get their player back once news of his possible issues broke.

He said, as quoted by Sky Sports : “What I know is that they’ve been Covid free for the last 72 hours. We couldn’t arrange an MRI for them, and as a result they couldn’t train.

“It was really annoying for them to stay in their rooms. We made the decision yesterday with the President and under pressure from the clubs too, because they’re worried so that [Aubameyang] should go back to Arsenal and Mario [Lemina] back to Nice.”

Despite Mikel Arteta’s recent shunning of the forward, Neveu did admit that it was the club’s right to recall their player.

Aubameyang is currently out of the first team picture as his future remains up in the air.

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