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England's possible route to World Cup glory including France, Germany, Brazil games

England's possible route to World Cup glory including France, Germany, Brazil games
© Reuters
Following the draw for the 2022 World Cup group stage, Sports Mole charts England's most likely route to glory if they were to go all of the way in Qatar.

England have been drawn in Group B at the World Cup, alongside USA, Iran and the winner of the European playoff - either Wales, Scotland or Ukraine.

The Three Lions will be firm favourites to progress from that pool as group winners, which in theory should give them a kinder route through the latter stages of the competition.

Gareth Southgate's side are dreaming of World Cup glory for the first time since 1966, having reached the semi-finals in 2018 and the final of Euro 2020 last year.

Here, Sports Mole looks at the most likely route to the final should England make it all the way in Qatar.



ROUND OF 16 - SENEGAL

Senegal players celebrate winning the penalty shoot out on February 6, 2022© Reuters

Should England fulfil their favourites tag and win Group B then they will go into the second half of the draw, with a showdown against the runners-up in Group A awaiting them in the last 16.

Group A includes hosts Qatar, Netherlands, Senegal and Ecuador, and of those it will be Netherlands who are favourites to top the pile.

Ecuador will prove tricky customers, while Qatar will be hoping to build on home advantage, but Senegal look like the next in line to claim the other automatic qualification place.

The African champions have enjoyed a fine 2022 already, winning the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time and seeing off Egypt in their World Cup playoff, and progression to the knockout stages of the World Cup would only add to that.



QUARTER-FINAL - FRANCE

France's Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates Antoine Griezmann and Lucas Digne on March 29, 2022© Reuters

The quarter-finals is where things may begin to get really tricky for England, with a potential meeting against defending champions France lying in store.

Again, based on the assumption that England will win Group B and then progress from the last 16, Southgate's side will face the winners of the match between top in Group D and second in Group C.

France will be favourites to win Group D, having been drawn alongside Denmark, Tunisia and either Peru, Australia or United Arab Emirates, and they would also be favourites to beat whomever they may face in the last 16.

Group C contains Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland, with either Mexico or Poland most likely on paper to finish second in that group - both of whom France will fancy their chances of beating for a place in the quarter-final.



SEMI-FINAL - GERMANY

Germany's Thomas Muller celebrates scoring their first goal on March 29, 2022© Reuters

If England do make it past France then a renewal of hostilities with old rivals Germany could await in the semi-finals - something which would no doubt evoke painful memories of 1990 and 1996.

There is of course plenty which could change before that, particularly as Germany are in a group with Spain, but should Die Mannschaft finish second in that group then they would enter England's side of the draw.

Germany could then face Belgium in the last 16 - another difficult game for them - and then Portugal in the quarter-finals, with Cristiano Ronaldo and co most likely to face Switzerland if things go according to the odds in the group stage.

England have a storied history against Germany in international competitions, but their win over them at Euro 2020 will still be fresh in their minds and they may consider themselves favourites should this come to fruition.



FINAL - BRAZIL

Brazil's Bruno Guimaraes celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates on March 30, 2022© Reuters

Brazil could well enter the World Cup as favourites, having taken over as the number-one ranked team in the world and also setting a new record points haul in South American qualifying.

The five-time winners have been drawn in Group G, which they will be expected to win, taking them into a last 16 against the runners-up from Group H - most likely Uruguay.

Victory in that game could set up a mouth-watering clash against Spain should La Roja win their group, and next up after that could be either Argentina or Netherlands.

There are plenty of heavyweights for both teams to get through en route to the final, then, but a Brazilian side looking for their first World Cup triumph in 20 years could be the final hurdle for England if things go as expected in the other side of the draw.


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England manager Gareth Southgate during the match on March 29, 2022
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