Which Reds will clash in the Nations League?

Friday 17 December 2021 13:00

Four Manchester United players could be fully involved when one of international football's oldest rivalries resumes in the UEFA Nations League.

The group-stage draw for 2022/23 has placed David De Gea's Spain in the same pool as Portugal, for whom Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot all played in last month's World Cup qualifiers. The two Iberian giants will meet in the first set of fixtures on Thursday 2 June 2022 with De Gea and company at home.

Goals have been scarce between the great rivals in recent years, with the last two meetings - both of them friendlies - ending 0-0. But three meetings ago, it was a complete contrast as the neighbouring countries drew 3-3 in a thrilling game at the start of the 2018 World Cup. Ronaldo, you may recall, slotted a hat-trick past De Gea and Fernandes was also on the pitch.

Joining Portugal and Spain in Group A2 for the tournament are Czech Republic and Switzerland.

Ronaldo and De Gea shake hands before Portugal v Spain in the 2018 World Cup.
The only other head-to-head between United players as things stand could be in Group A4, where Donny van de Beek and fellow Reds midfielder Dylan Levitt would hope to feature for Netherlands and Wales respectively.

Those countries will also compete with Belgium and Poland for a place in the June 2023 finals.
Meanwhile, the other Nations League teams who could feature United players have all been drawn apart.

For example, England are in Group A3 and will have a chance to avenge their penalties defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final, in which Luke Shaw scored and Harry Maguire also started, while Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford came on as substitutes. Completing a tough-looking pool are Germany and Hungary; the Three Lions will take on the latter team first, away on Saturday 4 June.

France are in Group A1 and the teams Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Raphael Varane could all face are Austria, Croatia and Denmark.
Luke Shaw celebrates after netting England's opener against Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

Scott McTominay is likely to be a key player for Scotland in their Group B1 campaign against Armenia, Republic of Ireland and Ukraine. Meanwhile, Victor Lindelof will be a leading figure in the Sweden squad for their clashes with Norway, Serbia and Slovenia.

Finally, Ethan Galbraith will look to cement his place in Northern Ireland's squad by the time they begin their fixtures in Group C2, which also comprises Greece, Kosovo and the winners of a March play-off between Cyprus and Estonia.

Visit uefa.com to see the full list of Nations League group-stage fixtures being played in June and September 2022.

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