6 Must Watch Games as the Nations League Gets Underway
Thought you were getting a quick breather from the unrelenting football action of the past few months? Wrong.
The games come thick and fast nowadays. With the Premier League still, a monstrous ten days away from starting, it seems only sensible to squeeze in a full round of international fixtures to fill the gaping void. With teams playing almost every three days since football restarted and now heading straight into a new season, another couple of games can't hurt - right?
Here's a look at the mostly hotly anticipated fixtures coming up this week.
1. Thursday 19:45 - Germany vs. Spain
What a way to kick things off. The two European heavyweights face off in Stuttgart in what is bound to be a thrilling encounter.
After both winning World Cups in the last decade, both sides have now entered a stage of rebuilding as they look to integrate young players with the hope they'll become fixtures in the team for years to come. No player over the age of 30 features for Germany while Spain have included 17-year-old FC Barcelona winger Ansu Fati and Manchester City's 19-year-old defender Eric García.
Full of youthful exuberance, both sides will be desperate to move out of the shadow of their World Cup winning teams and kickstart a new era of international success.
2. Friday 19:45 - Netherlands vs. Poland
The best striker in the world versus the best defender in the world - what more could you ask for?
The Netherlands have rebuilt themselves after a few years in the wilderness and are back to looking like their usual, brilliant, self. Poland aren't stacked with superstars but in Robert Lewandowski, they have a man capable of single-handily bulldozing the opposition - but if one man can stop the Bayern Munich striker, it's Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk.
3. Saturday 17:00 - Iceland vs. England
The last time these two sides met, the result sent shockwaves through the footballing world.
Thankfully - it's a new-look England squad compared to the side that was embarrassingly dumped out of the Euros by Iceland four years ago, but don't be surprised if that result will be playing on the back of the Three Lions' minds as they step out in Reykjavík. It could be a tougher affair than expected.
4. Sunday 19:45 - Switzerland vs. Germany
Ok, not the most exciting of the bunch but it's definitely a game worth sticking on when you slump into the armchair on Sunday evening.
This Switzerland side aren't pushovers by any means and are especially solid defensively, which could make this one a tighter affair than you'd expect. If they can hold off the German attack, they might just be able to cause an upset.
5. Monday 19:45 - Netherlands vs. Italy
This could be a seriously good game of football. Both nations seem to have slugged through their dark ages and are now well into their renaissance.
Showcasing some of the brightest talents in world football, it's not a game to be missed. A midfield battle that'll pit Frenkie de Jong and Donny van de Beek up against Sandro Tonali and Nicolò Barella is enough to get any football fan drooling.
6. Tuesday 19:45 - France vs. Croatia
Sure, this clashes with England versus Denmark but come on, you can't really not watch a repeat of the 2018 World Cup final.
France's squad was brimming with talent last time around, and the potential superstars just keep on coming; Eduardo Camavinga is called up to the squad aged just 17, while Dayot Upamecano looks set to be a feature in their defence for years to come.
Croatia will, however, be out for revenge. What a way to end this round of Nations League fixtures.