Gareth Southgate’s England side will be hoping to reach back-to-back finals in major international competitions, and this time to go one step better and lift the trophy.
Four years ago, the Three Lions reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup when international fortunes began under Southgate’s stewardship, before reaching the Euro 2020 final. Now, in Qatar, the goal will remain himself, ending the long wait since 1966 for success on the biggest stage.
Three group stage matches were negotiated for sure as they topped Group B and now three more knockout matches must be drawn before the trophy is on the line on December 18 at the 80,000 capacity Lusail Stadium.
England navigated the qualifiers with ease to reach Qatar, winning eight and drawing two to finish ahead of Poland, Albania, Hungary, Andorra and San Marino. But many of those games were simply opportunities for Southgate and his coaches to put initial plans into motion and get a sense of how they can continue to build the team in pursuit of success this winter.
This is the route England must now take to reach the World Cup final for the first time in over 50 years, and the teams they will face along the way.
Final classification of group B
- England 7 points
- United States 5 points
- Iran 3 points
- Wales 1 point
How England won Group B:
As Group B champions, England faced Group A runners-up Senegal in the round of 16. After an awkward start, the Three Lions were excellent and swept the African champions. Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka scored in a 3-0 win.
After beating Senegal, England will play France in the quarterfinals. The defending champions topped Group C as expected and defeated Poland 3-1 to reach the last eight. England vs France will be on Saturday December 10 at 19:00 GMT.
The winners of Group F and Group H could find their way to the semi-finals to face England if they go that far. Morocco surprised by beating Croatia and Belgium for the top spot in Group F, and they will meet Spain in the round of 16 after Luis Enrique’s men only achieved second place in Group E.
On the other side of the draw, Portugal will play Swiss. If England make it to the semi-finals, it looks like either Spain or Portugal would be waiting. On the England side of the draw, the semi-final will be at 7pm GMT on Wednesday 14 December.
After knocking out the best in Europe to reach the final, England may have to take on the kings of South America to win the World Cup. Brazil Y Argentina are in line to meet in the semi-finals in what would be an epic clash in Lusail on Tuesday 13th December, although we’ve had plenty of upsets already and more could follow. The final is on Sunday, December 18 at 15:00 GMT.
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