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Les Bleus return to action for the first time since lifting the World Cup trophy in Russian Federation when they take on Joachim Loew's embattled Germany, the previous title holders, at a sold-out Allianz Arena in Munich.

France closes its global window by playing the Netherlands in another Nations League match on Sunday, while Germany takes on Peru in a friendly, also on Sunday.

Euro playoffs. The carrot to hold out for participation in the lower leagues is that the results of the Nations League will be used to feed the teams that enter European Championship playoffs.

UEFA believes all its member federations are getting something they like. "The nation and the players are back", he said.

The North American football region now has its own version, while UEFA also designed a global version for about 220 teams which FIFA already has plans to adopt.

Low is also expected to make tactical changes, having admitted last week that a focus on dominant possession football was his "biggest mistake" at the World Cup.

Both sides pushed for a winning goal in the closing stages of the second half, but they were unable to carve out clear cut openings as the encounter ended goalless.

It might have been the heavyweight clash of UEFA's dreams to launch the inaugural Nations League competition, but as the rain poured down in Munich, Germany vs. France had all the edge of a friendly on a wet Thursday night.

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The 24-year-old made 46 appearances for Monaco last season, scoring eight goals and assisting in a further five strikes. The manager, though, sees long-term advantages in Liverpool not being at their spellbinding best just yet.

Plus, the biennial format should be good for business.

"I don't even know if it has sunk in yet to be honest", he said.

The winners of groups in leagues B, C and D will be promoted, while the losers of the groups in leagues A, B and C will be relegated into the league below.

Groups of three or four teams play home and away on the usual national-team match dates protected by Federation Internationale de Football Association.

The interesting thing about this system is that one of the four minnows from League D that top their groups will then win a spot to represent their League in the March mini-tournament. If the group victor has already qualified, then it will be the next best team from that group; or if all teams in the group have already qualified then of the next highest-ranked side from that league. The host will be the victor of the Italy-Poland-Portugal group.

The England defender is not alone in looking at the structure of the new UEFA Nations League and feeling a sense of bewilderment. In Russia, Germany saw teams pick them apart on the counter-attack, with Jerome Boateng showing significant signs of decline.

And on top of that, the winners of each league will qualify automatically for Euro 2020, meaning it's a back door into the finals should Northern Ireland mess up their qualifying campaign.


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