What is England's potential route to World Cup 2022 final in Qatar?

How Gareth Southgate's Three Lions can map a path to glory in Doha on December 18

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The 22nd World Cup kicks off in Qatar this month and England have made it to their 16th finals.

Gareth Southgate's men face Iran, USA and Wales in Group B. Their meeting with Gareth Bale's Welsh warriors will be the first ever "Battle of Britain" at a World Cup finals.

After making the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and losing to Italy in the final of Euro 2020, can the Three Lions go one better in 2022? Here we look at England's potential routes to the final at the Lusail Stadium in Doha on December 18.

Group stage

England face a potentially tricky task in Group B. Their opening game is against Iran on Monday, November 21. The Three Lions, ranked fifth in the world by Fifa, have never played against the Iranians, ranked 20th, in a senior competitive international. Iran are coached by former Real Madrid boss Carlos Queiroz, who returned to the role in September after they had already qualified for the tournament. The Portuguese, a former assistant manager at Manchester United, previously led Iran to the World Cup in 2014 and 2018.

Next up for England is Gregg Berghalter's USA on November 25. The Three Lions have met the Americans, ranked 16th in the world, in two previous games at World Cups, in 1950 and 2010 – and failed to beat them on both occasions. The 1-0 defeat in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in 1950 is considered one of England's biggest ever humiliations.

In the final game, England meet Rob Page's Wales, who are ranked 19th in the world. The two sides have never met at a World Cup but Southgate's men prevailed 2-1 in the group stages of Euro 2016.

Wales's road to Qatar - in pictures

Round of 16

In the next round England would play opposition from Group A – Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal or the Netherlands.

If England win Group B, they would play the runners-up in Group A – most probably Senegal – on December 4.

If they finish as runners-up in Group B, they will meet the winners of Group A – probably the Netherlands – on December 3.

Quarter-finals

As Group B winners, if England progress from the Round of 16, they would be likely to meet France in the quarter-finals on December 10.

As Group B runners-up, their route would lead them to a probable quarter-final clash with Argentina on December 9.

Semi-finals

As Group B winners, if they overcome world champions France in the quarter-finals, the Three Lions would most likely find one of Germany, Spain or Portugal in their way on December 14.

If they finish second in the group and beat Argentina in the last-eight, their most probable adversary would be five-time winners Brazil on December 13.

Final

As Group B winners, England would probably line up against Brazil or Argentina in the final on December 18.

As runners-up, their opponents would most likely be one of Germany, Spain or Portugal.

World Cup draw

Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands

Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales

Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland

Group D: France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia

Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan

Group F: Belgium, Ghana, Morocco, Croatia

Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon

Group H: Portugal, Canada, Uruguay, South Korea

Updated: November 08, 2022, 12:42 PM
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