World Cup 2022: England's route to the final in Qatar

Krishan Davis
Cafu pulled England's name out of the hat
Cafu pulled England's name out of the hat / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

The draw for the 2022 World Cup is finally complete and England now know what will be required if they are to break their 56-year hoodoo and win football's greatest prize in Qatar.

Gareth Southgate's men have been handed a favourable group stage draw for the first ever winter World Cup, although things will become more complicated if and when they have navigated their pool.

The Three Lions are in Group B alongside Iran, the USA, and potentially another home nation in the form of Wales or Scotland - although the latter will still need to beat Ukraine in a delayed playoff semi-final in the summer, to earn the right to take on the Welsh for a place at the showpiece event.

Now possessing a bit of tournament pedigree having reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and the final of Euro 2020, England will be confident of progressing as group winners - but what does the tournament hold for them thereafter?

Here is England's pathway to the World Cup final...

Group stage

Group B

  • England
  • Iran
  • USA
  • Wales/Scotland/Ukraine
  • 21 November - England vs Iran
  • 25 November - England vs USA
  • 29 November - Wales or Ukraine or Scotland vs England

Last 16

3-6 December

If England progress from Group B as winners then they will face the Group A runners-up, which could be Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal or the Netherlands.

If they somehow slip to a second-place finish, then they would face the Group A winners - likely to be AFCON champions Senegal or the Dutch.


9-10 December

As you would probably expect at an international tournament, this is where things will get really interesting as the competition hots up.

If Southgate's side can overcome a tricky last 16 opponent, then they will face either the winner of Group D or the runners-up from Group C.

That means potentially facing France or Argentina, while one of Australia, UAE or Peru, Denmark and Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland make up the rest of their respective groups.


13-14 December

If England can match their exploits in 2018 and reach the semi-finals then they will face an opponent from Group E, F, G or H.

Of those possibilities, the strongest on paper are Spain, Germany, Belgium, Brazil and Portugal.

Costa Rica or New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Morocco, 2018 finalists Croatia, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon, Ghana, Uruguay or South Korea will also be in the mix.


18 December

If - and it's a big if - Southgate can guide England to another final and their first at a World Cup since you know when, then the Three Lions could face any other team in the tournament.

The match will be played on 18 December, one week before Christmas.