World Cup 2022 draw: What is England’s potential route to the final?

With the draw for the 2022 World Cup finally made, we’re looking at the potential route that England can take to the final.

On April 1, Three Lions fans finally discovered which teams they’ll take on in the group stages of football’s most prestigious competition. And after the last two major tournaments, there’s a real buzz in the air that Gareth Southgate‘s men will cross the line and win a major competition for the first time since 1966.

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They may have faltered in the Euro 2020 final against Italy. But there’s no denying that the confidence in the squad is at the highest it’s been in years. The country believes again, and fans are very confident with the news of who England will play in the groups.

Read: Declan Rice explains what England could’ve done differently in Euro 2020 final

England will compete in Group B alongside Iran, USA and either Wales, Scotland or Ukraine, depending on who emerges from European qualifying. On paper, Southgate’s squad are in an excellent position. With the Daily Mail’s Ian Ladyman describing the first segment of the tournament as “almost a free pass to the knockout stages”, supporters are already preparing for potential World Cup glory.

Let’s take a look at the route England can take to the final of the 2022 World Cup:

What is England’s route to the World Cup 2022 final?

The national side will begin their campaign toward the trophy on November 21 against Iran. They will then take on USA on November 25, before their final group match against the European qualifier on November 29.

If England win the group, they will collide with the runners-up of Group A. This could pit them against Netherlands, or perhaps even AFCON champions Senegal. The other two teams in the group that could qualify are Ecuador and Qatar.

Alternatively, if England finish as runners-up in Group B, they will take on the winner of Group A.

Although fixtures against Netherlands or Senegal, in particular, would provide stiff tests, the Dutch have struggled in recent times. Senegal, meanwhile, have only reached the World Cup twice in their history, although they did get to the quarter-finals in 2002. Therefore, England would likely be seen as favourites to progress to the next round.

Who could England face in the quarter-finals?

If England get through the last 16 stages, they will likely face an even more significant challenge in the quarter-finals. They would be guaranteed to meet one team from Groups C or D. That could open up a showdown against Argentina, Poland or World Cup holders France.

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After exiting Euro 2020 to Switzerland via a penalty shootout, Didier Deschamps‘s side have a point to prove going into this year’s tournament. But with that comes enormous pressure and England supporters will have to hope that that’s too much for them to deal with if they face off against each other.

What if England make it to the last four of the 2022 World Cup?

Should England make it to the semi-finals, there’s a selection of elite teams who they could have to play. The tournament map shows that their most likely adversaries are Spain, Germany, Belgium or Brazil.

By this point, the country will have drowned in World Cup fever. The fans will be dancing in the street, singing patriotic songs and letting off fireworks into the December sky. But to make it to the final, Gareth Southgate’s side would have to pass a significant test.

England might have to go toe-to-toe with Lionel Messi‘s Argentina or face off against another of the world’s best sides. But there’s one team, you can argue, that stands out as their most dangerous potential opponent. And that’s none other than Brazil.

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The South Americans are the current favourites to win the competition, and they are dangerous everywhere. It’s not easy to beat a team that has the forward threat of Neymar, the direct running and skills of Vinicius Junior, and the rugged attitude of Thiago Silva at the back. But that doesn’t mean Southgate and his team can’t find a way.

Featured Image Credit: Getty