England are entering their final group game of Euro 2020 with plenty of questions to answer.
England: All to play for
The goodwill of the 1-0 victory over Croatia seems to have been completely undercut by a drab goalless draw with Scotland that means the fate of their group pends on the final round of fixtures.
A win over the Czech Republic on Tuesday and England will top their group, but is there reason to think that a draw or defeat dumping them in second place would actually be beneficial?
Given the complex system that UEFA have in place for the Euros since the expansion to 24 teams, many fans are feeling lost as to who England could be facing in the round of 16.
Group A Review | Euro 2020 (Football Terrace)
England’s potential opponents
However, the Independent whipped out their wall charts and calculators for a fascinating breakdown on the teams that England could play in the second round depending on Tuesday’s result.
So, strap yourselves in, England fans, by checking out all the possibilities down below to make sure that you know what every goal and result will mean for the Three Lions this week:
England win Group D
The situation is pretty simple: if England defeat the Czech Republic on Tuesday then they win their group, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll get an easy draw in the second round.
That’s because the winners of Group D will play whoever finishes second in Group F, which you might know better as the ‘Group of Death’ and all four teams could claim the silver medal.
As such, England fans might want to get behind Hungary who could finish second if they secure a shock win over Germany and watch France dump Portugal out of the competition with a win.
However, it seems far more likely that England will instead face one of Europe’s biggest nations with Germany currently occupying second spot after two games. It doesn’t bode particularly well, does it?
England finish second in Group D
If England draw with the Czechs on Tuesday then they will in all likelihood be hopping on a plane to Copenhagen to face off with the team who finished second in Group E.
Again, all four teams could technically finish second, but it’s in Sweden’s hands to top the group going into their closing game with Poland.
However, most worryingly for England is the possibility of Spain placing second, meaning that the Three Lions’ potential roster of round of 16 opponents could be Germany, France, Portugal and Las Rojas.
That, you could argue, is pretty much a line-up of Europe’s strongest nations, which, dare we say, might leave people to wonder what would happen if England placed all the way down in third…
England finish third in Group D
As unlikely as this scenario might be, there is a slim chance that England losing to the Czechs and Scotland swinging the goal difference with a win over Croatia could dump Gareth Southgate in third.
And if we assume that England finished in the four highest-performing third-placed teams – who invented this darn system? – then a number of different scenarios could play out.
Depending on which other bronze medallists qualified for the second round, England could face the winners of Group C, which is already confirmed to be yet another European giant: the Netherlands.
Another outcome could be England playing the winners of Group B, which will almost certainly be Belgium, while the winners of Group E – currently topped by Sweden – could also be on the cards.
Potential disasters everywhere
Woof. Doesn’t that look for worrying reading?
Spain’s draw with Poland at the weekend makes for a very real possibility where they finish second in the group, which means England could be facing a European giant at every twist and turn.
Finish first and it could mean Germany, Portugal or France; finish second and Spain could be on their plate and finish third and it could mean blockbuster clashes with Belgium or the Netherlands.
Yes, it could be Hungary or Slovakia if results go England’s way, but make no mistake that any and every scoreline against the Czech Republic could result in a tournament-ending round of 16 draw.