2022-11-25 10:59:48

Englands route to World Cup final at Qatar 2022

Logo The Independent
The Independent
By Jack Rathborn

Gareth Southgates Three Lions squad will be hoping to make it back-to-back finals in major international competitions later this year - and this time go one step better and lift the trophy.

Four years ago England 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 will remain the same, to end the long wait since 1966 for success on the biggest stage.

Three matches in the group phase and then three further knock-out fixtures must be navigated at the finals before the trophy is up for grabs on 18 December at the 80,000-seater Lusail Stadium.

England navigated the qualifiers with ease to reach Qatar, winning eight and drawing two to finish ahead of Poland, Albania, Hungary, Andorra and San Marino. But many of those matches were merely opportunities for Southgate and his coaches to put early plans in place and get an idea of how the team can continue to be built in the pursuit of success this winter.

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