Can England not qualify for World Cup knockout stages? What they need to do to advance from Qatar 2022 group

What England need vs Wales to qualify for the World Cup knockout stage

England have played two of their 2022 World Cup group stage matches so far, with one impressing fans more than the other. The Three Lions opened their account in Qatar with a dominating 6-2 victory over Iran, with Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham’s stellar performance claiming the headlines.

However, the youngsters were unable to shine against USA on Friday evening and were held to a disappointing 0-0 stalemate. Gareth Southgate’s side came under plenty of criticism after spending most of the match in Al Khor under pressure from the likes of Christian Pulisic and Timothy Weah, who took the English defence by storm.

Southgate’s side now head into their highly anticipated clash with Wales top of the group with four points, while Iran are the other side to qualify as it stands, USA have two points and Wales trail with a single point. Ahead of Tuesday’s final match, here is what the Three Lions need to progress to the knockout stages.

What result do England need against Wales to qualify for round of 16?

Despite their lacklustre draw with the USA, England are still highly likely to progress to the knockout stages of the World Cup. Southgate’s side will qualify for the round of 16 if they avoid defeat by four goals or more against Wales.

If they can claim all three points against their neighbours then they will solidify their position at the top of the group, or if they take another draw and Iran don’t beat the USA. They could also take first place if they lose by less than four goals while Iran and the USA draw. Meanwhile, if England were to lose to the Welsh by four or more goals and there is a winner between Iran and the USA, England will be knocked out.

Who could England play in the round of 16?

England will be eager to top Group B as they could potentially have an ‘easier’ path to the World Cup final. If they progress they will face either Netherlands, Ecuador or Senegal, with one of the latter two the most likely if they do finish first in the group. Netherlands currently sit top of Group A with four points and will take top spot if they can beat Qatar, while Ecuador and Senegal will battle it out for second place on Tuesday.

If England win the group then they will play the runners-up from Group A on Sunday December 4 at 7pm. However, a second-place finish would see them play Group A’s winners the day before - with a 3pm kick-off scheduled.

If the Three Lions claim top spot and can beat the runner-up on Group A, then they could potentially face France in the quarter-finals. Didier Deschamps’ side are without key stars in Paul Pogba, NGolo Kante, Presnel Kimpembe, Lucas Hernandez, Karim Benzema and Christopher Nkunku - however, they are currently the only team to have won their first two matches and confirm their place in the knockouts. After wins over Australia and Denmark, they will next take on Tunisia on Wednesday afternoon.