After finishing top of their group, Gareth Southgate and his Three Lions squad were keenly following who they would play in the last 16 of the 2021 football tournament.
It could have been one of Hungary, Portugal, France or Germany, with the footballing gods settling on another meeting between England and one of their oldest rivals.
England vs Germany evokes strong memories of meetings gone by - some fondly remembered and some hard to forget - for both nations, as fans prepare for the latest instalment.
Here's a look at the last time England and Germany met, how many times they have faced one another and the last time the Three Lions came out on top, including at a major tournament.
How many times have England and Germany played each other?
For the purposes of this article, England's games against Germany and West Germany (pre-1990) are grouped together under Germany.
The history books show England have faced Germany 32 times, winning 13 games and losing 15, while drawing the remaining four in official matches.
The first time England and Germany officially met was on 10 May 1930 in Berlin, in a six-goal thriller which seesawed before finishing up 3-3.
When did England and Germany last meet?
The last meeting between England and Germany was on 10 November 2017 at Wembley, in an international friendly game which ended 0-0.
It was the second time the two nations had met one another in the same calendar year.
A solitary Lukas Podolski goal gave Germany a 1-0 win over England on 22 March 2017 at Signal Iduna Park - the home of Borussia Dortmund.
When did England last beat Germany?
Three Lions supporters have to go back five years to the last time England beat Germany in a five-goal thriller at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.
Toni Kroos and Mario Gomez had put Germany into a 2-0 lead before England kicked into gear in the last half-an-hour of the friendly match on 26 March 2016.
Harry Kane pulled one back just after the hour-mark before Jamie Vardy came off the bench to level for the Three Lions on 74 minutes and set up a tense finale.
A 90th-minute goal from Eric Dier sealed the England comeback on a memorable night for the Three Lions and their supporters both in the stadium and at home.
When did England and Germany last meet at a major tournament?
The last time England and Germany met at a major tournament doesn't hold such fond memories for Three Lions supporters.
Tipped to do well at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, England were below par for much of the tournament and were sent packing in the Round of 16 by Germany.
Tournament hotshot Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski put Germany into a comfortable lead before Matthew Upson pulled one back for a rejuvenated England.
What followed was a potentially match-defining moment as Frank Lampard saw a shot hit the underside of the crossbar and bounce well over the goalline only for the officials to play on.
In what brought comparisons to Geoff Hurst's goal that helped England to victory over West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final the Uruguayan referee let play continue.
What followed could only be described as a humiliation for Fabio Capello's side as Thomas Muller scored twice in three minutes as Germany eased into the last eight with a 4-1 win.
When did England last beat Germany at a major tournament?
Four years on from a painful penalty shootout exit at Euro 96, England beat Germany 1-0 in a group match at Euro 2000 thanks to a diving header from Alan Shearer.