Belfast Telegraph

England’s route to glory at the 2018 World Cup

A look at how England can go all the way.

England beat Colombia in a dramatic penalty shootout on Tuesday night to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the Three Lions’ potential route on to the final, using the world rankings to determine opponents from the quarter-finals onwards.

England’s possible route to the World Cup final (PA Graphics)

v Sweden, quarter-finals

Despite the world rankings suggesting the Swiss would get the better of Sweden in their last 16 on Tuesday afternoon, the form book was ripped up once again at the most unpredictable of World Cups. England have been warned, but would certainly prefer this to an encounter with Brazil, which would have likely been their fate if they had managed to top Group G.

v Croatia, semi-finals

Luka Modric has shone for Croatia (Mike Egerton/PA)

Spain’s loss to hosts Russia has blown England’s half of the draw wide open. The home favourites did so with a resolute defensive performance before a shootout win. The question now is can they live with the creativity of Croatia and the brilliant Luka Modric?

v Brazil, final

Will Neymar be celebrating on July 15 in Moscow? (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

There’s just no avoiding Brazil, the highest-ranked team left in the competition after Germany’s exit. The South Americans would have to get past first European hopefuls Belgium and then, if the seedings play out, France to get this far – but they have the pedigree to do it.

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