Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions are hoping to reach back-to-back finals in major international competitions later this year – and this time go one step further and lift the trophy.
Four years ago, England reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup as Southgate began their international resurgence before progressing to the Euro 2020 final. Now in Qatar the goal will remain the same, to finish the long awaited success on the biggest stage since 1966.
Three group stage games and then three more knockout games must be played in the finals before the trophy is up for grabs on 18 December at the 80,000 capacity Lusail Stadium.
England went through qualifiers with ease, reaching Qatar with eight wins and two draws to finish ahead of Poland, Albania, Hungary, Andorra and San Marino. However, many of those games were just opportunities for Southgate and his coaches to make early plans and get an idea of how to continue to build the team from success this winter.
Here’s the path England must take now to reach the World Cup final for the first time in over 50 years and the sides they will face along the way.
United States of America
If England win Group B:
The runner-up from Group A, so likely Senegal (against Qatar and Ecuador, with the Netherlands considered favourites), particularly as African champions.
The winner of the tie between the winner of Group D and the runner-up of Group C: Probable Franceshould they lead their group – ahead of Denmark, Tunisia and Australia/UAE/Peru – and then beat one of Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland.
Group F and Group H winners could find their way to the semi-finals to face England if they go that far, meaning a possible semi-final between England and England Belgium or Portugal.
A final, after battling through the knockout stages in runners-up, could eventually see England play Spain, Germany or Brazil in the final.
If England finish second in Group B:
The winner from group A, so probably the Netherlands (via Senegal, Qatar or Ecuador).
The winner of the tie between the winner of Group C and the runner-up of Group D: Argentina could face England here should they lead their group as favorites – ahead of Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland – and then eliminate Denmark, Peru/Australia/UAE and Tunisia.
The Group E and Group G winners could find their way into the semi-finals to face England if they go that far, meaning a possible semi-final between England and the winners Spain/Germany and Brazil.
A final, after battling through the knockout stages in runners-up, could eventually see England play France, Belgium or Portugal in the final.
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https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/england-world-cup-2022-fixtures-qatar-b2130639.html England’s possible route to the World Cup final in Qatar 2022