After a year 2020 turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic, the Red Devils can expect a busier year 2021. With the Euro, the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, the Nations League Final Four and friendly matches, Roberto Martinez’s troops can expect to play at least fifteen games next year.
Belgium secured their qualification for the Final Four of the Nations League after their 4-2 victory over Denmark on Wednesday. The Final Four, which will be drawn on December 3, will take place from October 6 to 10, 2021. The other qualifying nations are France, Spain and Italy.
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The first semi-final will take place on October 6, 2021, the second the next day. The match for 3rd place and the final are scheduled for October 10, 2021.
This qualification does not imply any additional matches for the Devils. Indeed, the countries qualified for the last four of the League of Nations are guaranteed to appear in a group of five (instead of six) for the qualifications for the World Cup 2022. They also won a ticket for the play-offs of the qualifiers of the World Cup, which they can claim if they do not qualify directly in their qualifying group.
The World Cup qualifying draw will be held on December 7, four days after the Nations League Final Four.
The first three days of qualifying for the World Cup are scheduled for March 2021, with three other meetings scheduled for early September. Two more duels are scheduled for mid-November, for a total of eight qualifying matches in 2021. The ten group winners will directly qualify for Qatar, while the run-offs will play off in March 2022 with their teams from the League. of Nations.
The Euro, moved to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, will take place from June 11 to July 11. The Belgians will play at least their three group matches there, against Denmark, Russia and Finland. If they reach the Wembley final, the Devils will have played seven games during the tournament, which does not include a 3rd place match.
Roberto Martinez’s troops will prepare for the Euro by playing two friendly matches (against three usually), which means that Belgium will play between fifteen and nineteen matches in 2021. By way of comparison, the Devils had played seventeen matches in 2018, the year of the last World Cup. They’ve played eight this year, but 2020 is not a year like any other.