Germany v France - Preview and possible lineups

Uefa Nations League: What is it and how will it work?

Tonight will see the first fixtures of the new UEFA Nations League, including European heavyweights France versus Germany in Munich.

The 25-year-old Varane, who will be making his 50th global appearance, said France must "keep the same values and the same ambition" in the wake of their World Cup victory.

Should Gareth Southgate's side lose the opener they will be fighting against the tide to avoid playing the likes of Slovakia and Turkey in the next addition of the Nations League.

Manufactures Adidas designed the ball which features the colourful imagery that helps make up the Nations League logo, which is also prominent on the trophy.

These are themselves divided into sub-groups in a convoluted format that has virtually replaced the friendly scene (apart from a few matches) in a revolutionary move that UEFA hopes will revitalize the worldwide game now upstaged the glitz and glamour of club football. In leagues A and B, there are three teams per group.

World Cup champions France travel to Joachim Loew's under-pressure Germany on Thursday in an eye-catching start to the inaugural UEFA Nations League, football's newest competition introduced to replace most worldwide friendlies with few knowing all the details of a complex format.

Teams play in groups entirely disconnected to the Nations League, with the winners and runners-up qualifying for the tournament.

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.

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If Low is planning for Euro 2020, only midfielder Leon Goretzka could be regarded as a face for the future, but the Bayern Munich youngster is hardly an worldwide newcomer having starred at the Confederations Cup in 2017.

Serbia, despite having topped Ireland's World Cup qualifying group find themselves in Group C along with Euro 2004 Winners Greece.

The eight group winners would qualify for the round of last 16, while the runners-up go into a playoff with the third-placed teams of the eight Europa League groups.

They will compete in semi-finals with the winners going head-to-head to be crowned the inaugural champions. Even though our World Cup was so positive we still feel like we need to prove ourselves against the very best teams.

The matches are set to be played on Thursdays, ahead of Europa League matches.

This will be played off during a window of worldwide fixtures in September, October and November previously used to host global friendly matches.

Despite meeting the current holders in the tournament, which was meant to replace most friendlies, the feeling in the German squad is one of anticipation rather than trepidation.

The start of the new Nations League has thrown up an enticing match for Low's side, which will retain a core of players who badly underperformed in Russian Federation.

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