World Cup draw: England's route to the final is looking tough

England will be rubbing their hands together upon the completion of the 2022 World Cup draw. Well, at least as far as the group stage is concerned…

The Three Lions are on a high at the moment having reached only their third World Cup semi-final last time out, before making it all the way to the second major final in their history at Euro 2020.

And they’ll be feeling good about their prospects of continuing that hot streak in Qatar when you consider that they were handed one of the most favourable draws imaginable on Friday night.

England get favourable draw

While there’s no easy run of fixtures at a World Cup tournament, Gareth Southgate wouldn’t exactly have been banging his head against a wall when he saw the United States and Iran come out of the hat.

Then, to round off proceedings, it was confirmed that the final team in England’s group will either be occupied by Wales, Ukraine or Scotland depending on the climatic European qualifiers.

But let’s look beyond the group stages now because the beauty of the World Cup draw is that the simplicity of the beast means we can start to foresee how each nation’s route to the final might pan out.

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Tough run to the final

So, let’s face it, we’d be out of our minds not to go down the rabbit hole of hypothetical results and outcomes to see how England could feasibly make their way to the biggest game in football.

And we’re going to start off by remaining glass-half-full and predicting England’s roadmap to glory in a world where they do indeed finish top of Group B.

From there, we’re keeping our realistic hats on and forecasting how we genuinely think the groups and games around them will pan out to see how their round of 16 clash, quarter-final, semi-final and final might genuinely shape up.

Got it? Right then, well, let’s unpack the potential yard sticks in England’s quest to ensure that football is coming home down below:

Round of 16: England vs Senegal

Quarter-finals: England vs France

Semi-finals: England vs Belgium

Final: England vs Brazil

Goodness gracious me. That doesn’t sound easy, does it?

Soccer Football – World Cup – Final Draw – Doha Exhibition & Convention Center, Doha, Qatar – April 1, 2022 England manager Gareth Southgate arrives ahead of the draw REUTERS/Carl Recine

Every single possibility

But park that thought for a second because it’s not as though football works out in a predictable manner every single time, so let’s rephrase England’s route to the final with all of the possibilities:

Round of 16: England vs Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands

Quarter-finals: England vs Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland, France, France, Australia/UAE/Peru, Denmark, Tunisia

Semi-finals: England vs Spain, Costa Rica/New Zealand, Germany, Japan, Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia, Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon, Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay or South Korea

Final: England vs anybody

Soccer Football – World Cup – Final Draw – Doha Exhibition & Convention Center, Doha, Qatar – April 1, 2022 England manager Gareth Southgate, Saudi Arabia coach Herve Renard, Qatar coach Felix Sanchez Bas and Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu during the draw REUTERS/Carl Recine

What if England finished second?

Ok, cool, so that’s all good to know, but what if the worst really does happen and England finish second in their group?

Fear not, because we can answer that question too by once again putting on our realistic hats and imagining how the rest of the tournament would unfold around runners-up England – check it out below:

Round of 16: England vs Netherlands

Quarter-finals: England vs Argentina

Semi-finals: England vs Brazil

Final: England vs France

Soccer Football – World Cup – Final Draw – Doha Exhibition & Convention Center, Doha, Qatar – April 1, 2022 England manager Gareth Southgate ahead of the draw REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

What will actually happen? Nobody knows…

So, there are countless possibilities to unpack and many are just on the assumption that England win their group, which is certainly not guaranteed and especially so if Wales and Scotland make an appearance.

But that’s the joy of the World Cup because as much as we can plot routes to the final until we’re blue in the face, we’ll never know until the tournament itself how all these mouth-watering games will really play out.

World Cup Qatar 2022 draw live reaction (Football Terrace)

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