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Who could England face in the knockout rounds of Euro 2024?

Pen and wall chart at the ready – it’s time to begin mapping out England’s first Euro 2024 knockout opponents and Gareth Southgate’s side’s possible route to the final.

The Three Lions officially qualified for the knockout stages after Spain defeated Albania on Monday.

With four points from their first two games, England are guaranteed to reach the round of 16 regardless of what happens in their final group game against Slovenia.

But the outcome of tonight’s match will have an impact on whom they play next – and will dictate their possible route to the final in Berlin on 14 July.

Here’s who they could face.

If England win…

Southgate’s side have come in for criticism over their rather lacklustre performances so far in the tournament, but they nonetheless sit top of Group C with four points from their first two matches.

Jude Bellingham and Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrate the Real Madrid star’s opening goal against Serbia. Pic: AP

A victory against Slovenia in Cologne this evening would send England through as group winners, with seven points.

It would also land them an encounter with one of the best third-placed finishers from Groups D, E, or F in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday at 5pm.

As it stands, Austria sit third in Group D, Romania, Belgium, Slovakia, and Ukraine are all tied on three points in Group E, and the Czech Republic are in third place in Group F, level on points with Georgia, but above them on goal difference.

If England draw…

A draw tonight would complicate things because England’s final position would then depend on the result of the other Group C game – Denmark v Serbia.

England could still top the group if they draw with Matjaz Kek’s side and Denmark fail to beat Serbia.

If England draw with Slovenia, but the Danes win, then both sides will finish level on five points and first place in the group will come down to goal difference, then overall goals scored, and finally disciplinary points. The Three Lions’ goal difference is one better than Denmark’s.

England manager Gareth Southgate on the touchline during the UEFA Euro 2024 match at the Frankfurt Arena in Frankfurt, Germany. Picture date: Thursday June 20, 2024.
England manager Gareth Southgate. File pic: PA

Topping the group, no matter how they do it, would still mean, as above, a round of 16 encounter with one of the best third-placed finishers from Groups D, E, or F in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday at 5pm.

But finishing second would result in a tie against the winners of Group A – tournament hosts, Germany.

If England lose…

England could still lose to Slovenia and finish runners-up in Group C, if Serbia beat Denmark or the game ends in a draw.

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If Southgate’s men lose to Slovenia and Denmark beat Serbia, however, that would mean the Three Lions drop into third place in the table.

They would then play either Group F winners Portugal in Frankfurt on Monday 1 July at 8pm, or the Group E winners – currently Romania – in Munich on Tuesday 2 July at 5pm.

Who could England play in the quarter-finals?

If England top Group C and win their last-16 tie, they would then face the winners of Saturday’s round-of-16 clash between Switzerland and Italy in Dusseldorf on Saturday 6 July at 5pm.

However, if they end up runners-up in the group and beat Germany, it’s likely England would play Spain in the last eight in Stuttgart on Friday 5 July at 5pm.

And beyond that?

France's Kylian Mbappe gestures during a training session in Paderborn, Germany, Thursday, June 13, 2024. Mbappe was absent when the squad took part in an open practice session at its European Championship base on Thursday. France will play against Austria during their Group D soccer match at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament on June 17. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
France’s Kylian Mbappe. File pic: AP

This becomes a bit of a guessing game, but as things stand, if England win their group, their round-of-16 clash, and then their quarter-final, a semi-final against the Netherlands could await.

But a lot depends on how Group D finishes tonight, with the Netherlands currently narrowly atop the group ahead of France on goals scored going into their final game against Austria.

Read more:
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If France top the group, it is likely England would face France in the semis.

But should the Three Lions triumph in their last-four tie, a final against Germany, Portugal, or Spain could await.

If England were to fall onto the other side of the draw, and beat Germany, and then Spain, a likely semi-final against Portugal would follow.

A young pitch invader takes a selfie with Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo during a Group F match between Turkey and Portugal at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Dortmund, Germany, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Pic: AP

However, again, this would likely depend on the results of France and the Netherlands in Group D, with both possible semi-final opponents depending on which side of the draw they each fall.

Should France top their group, however, and England battle their way through the likes of Germany, Spain, and then Portugal, a final against France would likely await.

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