The FIFA World Cup 2022 is underway and Gareth Southgate’s England are dreaming of glory as they approach the quarter-final stage of the competition.
The Three Lions prevailed as leaders ahead of the likes of USA, Iran and Wales. It is the first time England have topped the group since 2006.
England followed this up with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over African champions Senegal in the round of 16.
Southgate has an abundance of talent at his disposal including attacking options such as Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling. The Three Lions are blessed with a strong mixture of youth and experience and many pundits are tipping them to go deep into the competition.
Here we take a look at the potential path to glory between Southgate’s team and the most prestigious prize in football.
Who were England’s group stage opponents?
England finished top of their group with a total of seven points from three games.
The Three Lions began their campaign in style with a record breaking 6-2 victory over Iran and the likes of Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford all got their name on the scoresheet.
England followed that up with a disappointing 0-0 draw against USA in their second group game. However, Southgate’s side ended their group stage campaign in fine form and secured a comprehensive 3-0 victory against Wales in their final game. Rashford continued his tremendous goal scoring form with a brace and Phil Foden got off the mark with his first goal of the tournament.
Here is a full guide to England’s Group B results
- Game 1: England 6-2 Iran - Monday 21 November
- Game 2: England 0-0 USA - Friday 25 November
- Game 3: England 3-0 Wales - Tuesday 29 November
Who were England’s round-of-16 opponents?
Southgate’s team were paired against the runners up of Group A and played Senegal in the round of 16.
Senegal were the reigning African champions and presented Gareth Southgate’s side the toughest test of the tournament so far. England struggled in the opening stages of the game and Senegal’s high press proved problematic for the defence in the first half.
England scored the opening goal late in the first half through Jordan Henderson and doubled their lead on the stroke of half time through Harry Kane.
The Three Lions dominated the second half of football and cruised to a 3-0 victory with Bukayo Saka adding to his tournament goal tally with the third goal.
Who will England face in the World Cup quarter-final?
England will come up against reigning world champions France in the quarter-final. The Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor will play host to England for the second successive round and the last-eight-fixture on Saturday 10 December.
France finished top of Group D and won both of their opening two games against Australia and Denmark before falling to a shock defeat against Tunisia in the final game.
Didier Deschamps side produced a dominant performance against Poland in the round of 16 and secured a resounding 3-1 victory. Kylian Mbappe was the star man for Les Bleus and scored an impressive brace in the game to take the lead in the race for the Golden Boot.
England will have to keep the PSG striker quiet to have any chance of progressing to the semi-final of the tournament.
Who could England face in the World Cup semi-final?
If England are to reach the semi-final of this year’s tournament then Gareth Southgate will become the first England manager in history to do so in back to back competitions.
If England do reach the last four then it is likely that they will be paired with 2010 champions Spain.
England’s other potential opponents include Portugal, Switzerland and Morocco. England have had a dismal record against Portugal in recent years. Portugal beat England in Euro 2000, Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup.
Who could England face in the World Cup final?
England went all the way to the final last summer in Euro 2020 and if they are to repeat that feat as leaders of Group B at the World Cup then they are likely to go head to head with five time champions Brazil in the final of this year’s competition. The Qatar World Cup is likely to be the final one involving Lionel Messi and the Copa America holders could also be potential opponents for England in the final.
The final is set to be played at the Lusail Iconic Stadium on Sunday 18 December at 7pm.