Gareth Southgate’s men were handed a favourable draw in Moscow in December 1, 2017. While many England fans had little hope, the draw has at least triggered the hope of making the knockout stages of the World Cup.
And, let’s face it, they should. They’re second favourites to qualify for the Round of 16 by a distance at 1/7 and should have no problem beating Tunisia and Panama.
Who the Three Lions will face from there is of course dependent how they do against Belgium and on results elsewhere. We take a look at how England could progress through Russia 2018…
If England win the group, the likelihood is that they will face either Poland or Senegal in the Round of 16. The Polish are favoured with the bookies to finish second in Group H and 8/15 to qualify. They’d have to be careful of Robert Lewandowski of course, but as they would Harry Kane.
The Polish are ranked above England currently, but you have to say it’s another favourable knockout draw should it happen.
It’s not the end of the world if England faced the Group H winner either, which is predicted to be Colombia. They reached the Quarter Final back in 2014 and have James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao in their ranks, but again, it’s better than the Germany, France or Brazil who are favourites to win the World Cup.
Colombia are ranked 13th in the world and England would fancy their chances for their first World Cup Quarter Final since 2006.
England are 8/11 to reach the Quarter Final and it’s the stage where it gets a little complex. England could potentially face eight different nations, although the likelihood would be a fixture against either Brazil or Germany.
Brazil have a relatively straight-forward group, so it’s almost guaranteed they will enter the Round of 16 here, setting up an exciting England tie in the Quarter Final should the Three Lions also finish top of their own group.
Finish second and it’ll likely be the Germans, favourites to win the World Cup at 9/2.
The Germans will most probably face Switzerland in the Round of 16, although potentially also Serbia. Again, it’s a case of Germany almost certainly topping their group and almost certainly making it through to the Quarter Final given their draw.
So you’d perhaps think that’s where England’s journey may end.
Neymar could halt England’s World Cup 2018 campaign in the quarter finals.
Pull off a miracle though and England will find themselves in their first Semi Final since that night in Turin back at Italia 90.
Should they beat the Brazilians a final four tie against France would be the most likely outcome. If they finish top of their group they have a fairly nice run to the Semi Final, although could come unstuck in the Round of 16 should Portugal (favourite to finish second in Group B) pull off an unthinkable run as they did at the Euros.
Those would be the two likeliest candidates for a Semi Final tie in this scenario, while if England face Germany in the Quarter Final we’d fancy them to come up against Spain or Argentina.
Out of the two, the Spanish are favourite to lift the trophy at 7/1, but Lionel Messi and co. reached the final back in 2014 and could well do so again.
That would of course set up a final against any of those mentioned above, with Belgium also re-entering the fray.
You can back England to reach the World Cup Final at 7/1 and have a punt on them winning it at 16/1.
If England win the Group:
Last 16 – Poland
Quarter-final – Brazil
Semi-final – France
Final – Argentina
If England finish second in Group G:
Last 16 – Colombia
Quarter-finals – Germany
Semi-finals – Argentina
Finals – Brazil
From predicting England’s route to the 2018 World Cup final, it looks imperative that they win the group. A tie against Colombia in the last 16 is winnable but a run to the final that is likely to consist of Germany, Argentina and Brazil is going to be far too tough for Gareth Southgate’s men. Winning the group at least gives England an outside chance of getting to the semi-finals, although it is hard to realistically predict an England victory over Brazil. Today’s England World Cup betting tip is for England to be eliminated in the quarter finals at odds of 12/5 with Ladbrokes.