Gareth Southgate’s England squad will be hoping to make it back-to-back finals in major international competitions - and this time go one step better and lift the trophy.
Four years ago the Three Lions reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup as the upturn in international fortunes began under Southgate, before they went the distance to the final at Euro 2020. Now, in Qatar, the objective remains the same, to end the long wait since 1966 for success on the biggest stage.
Three matches in the group phase were safely negotiated as they topped Group B before Senegal were brushed aside 3-0 in the last 16. France are next up in the quarter-finals on Saturday as they are just three knock-out victories away from lifting the trophy on 18 December at the 80,000-seater Lusail Stadium.
England had navigated the European qualifiers with ease to reach Qatar, winning eight and drawing two to finish ahead of Poland, Albania, Hungary, Andorra and San Marino.
Here is the route England must now take to reach the World Cup final for the first time in over 50 years, and the sides they’ll face along the way.
Group B final standings
- England 7 pts
- USA 5 pts
- Iran 3 pts
- Wales 1 pt
As England won Group B:
As winners of Group B, England faced the runner-up from Group A in Senegal in the last 16. After an awkward start, the Three Lions were excellent as they swept the champions of Africa aside. Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka were on target in the 3-0 win.
After beating Senegal, England will play France in the quarter-finals. The defending champions topped Group C as expected and defeated Poland 3-1 to reach the last-eight. England vs France will be on Saturday 10 December at 7pm GMT.
Morocco stunned Spain to reach the quarter-finals, and then became the first team from Africa to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup by beating Portugal 1-0 at the last-eight stage.
If England make it through to the semi-finals, they will face Morocco at 7pm GMT on Wednesday 14 December.
If the reach the final, England may have to play one of the favourites in order to win the World Cup, or the team who beat the Three Lions in the 2018 semi-finals. Argentina have reached the semi-finals and will play Croatia – who upset Brazil on penalties in the last eight and beat England four years ago – in Lusail on Tuesday 13 December. The final is on Sunday 18 December at 3pm GMT.