Who will England play in World Cup round of 16? Likely knockout stage opponents- Ecuador, Netherlands, Senegal

England will finish top of Group B if they beat Wales in their final World Cup 2022 group stage game

England began their campaign on a high with a resounding 6-2 victory over Iran. After the game many fans were riding a wave of euphoria and dreaming of World Cup glory.

The mood was dampened slightly in the second game as England scraped a 0-0 draw against USA. However, despite a disappointing performance, the draw leaves England in a strong position to qualify for the round of 16.

England are in control of their own destiny heading into the final group game against Wales and a victory will ensure them top spot in the group and a favourable draw in the knockout stages.

But when will the Three Lions be playing if they do progress to the last 16 and who are their potential opponents? Here is everything you need to know heading into the knockout stage.

Who are England’s potential round of 16 opponents?

Gareth Southgate’s side will go head to head with either Netherlands, Ecuador or Senegal in the round of 16. Hosts Qatar were beaten in both of their opening two group games and were the first side to be knocked out of the World Cup.

There are two games remaining in Group A which will have a significant influence on the final landscape of the group. Netherlands will play Qatar in their final game and Ecuador will take on Senegal.

What to expect from England’s potential round of 16 opponents


The Netherlands national team are clear favourites to top Group A and they will take on Qatar in their final group game.

The Oranje began the tournament with an impressive 2-0 victory over African champions Senegal but struggled to show the same fluidity during a 1-1 draw against Ecuador. Netherlands need just a point from their final group game to secure a place in the knockout stages, however they enter the game against Qatar as clear favourites to get all three points.

Netherlands are currently managed by former Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal - it is the Dutchman’s third spell in charge of the team. The 71-year-old famously led his country to the semi-final of the World Cup in 2014.

Louis Van Gaal’s side are viewed as the strongest team in Group A and have a number of talented players at their disposal including Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk, Barcelona midfielder Frenkie De Jong and PSV winger Cody Gakpo.

Netherlands have never previously won the World Cup, however they have finished runners up on three occasions - these were 1974, 1978 and 2010.


Ecuador are aiming to progress to the knockout stage of the World Cup for the first time since 2006.

Gustavo Alfaro’s side began the tournament with a 2-0 victory over hosts Iran and secured an impressive 1-1 draw against Netherlands. If Ecuador avoid defeat against Senegal in their final game then they will reach the knockout stage for only the second time in their history.

Ecuador were the dominant side in their game against Netherlands and have proved themselves as a surprise package in the tournament so far. Ecuador’s key players include Brighton pair Moises Caicedo and Pervis Estupinan. While former Everton and West Ham striker Enner Valencia has proven to be the key focal point in attack.

Top scorer Valencia suffered an injury against Netherlands in their last game which could be a huge blow to their hopes of progressing deep into the tournament.


African champions Senegal are competing at the World Cup for just the third time in their history and they have been led into the tournament by former captain Aliou Cisse.

Aliou Cisse has enjoyed great success as manager of Senegal and guided them to African Cup of Nations glory for the first time in their history last year. Senegal began the tournament with a 2-0 defeat to Netherlands but bounced back against Qatar with a 3-1 victory.

Senegal possess a number of talented players such as Chelsea pair Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibably. However, they have struggled with the absence of their talisman and leading goal scorer Sadio Mane who was ruled out of the tournament with injury.

Cisse’s side face Ecuador in their final group game and will need to win the game to reach the knockout stages of the tournament.