When will England play in the last 16, quarter-finals and semi-finals? World Cup schedule and route to final

England may have arrived in Qatar following a dismal run, but you wouldn’t have known it from a crushing 6-2 victory over Iran in their opening World Cup fixture.

The win calmed the nerves of fans fearful that Gareth Southgate’s team would make heavy work of a comparatively kind Group B draw, and some will be dreaming that maybe, just maybe, this time it’s England’s year.

But when will the Three Lions be playing if they do progress to the last 16, and what comes after? Here’s everything you need to know about England’s potential World Cup 2022 schedule.

When will England play in the last 16 and beyond?

If England top their group, they will play their second-round fixture against the runners-up of Group A at 7pm on Sunday 4 December.

The Netherlands‘ 2-0 win over Senegal in their opening fixture made it clear that they are the team to beat in that group, so it seems a fair assumption that Louis Van Gaal’s side will finish top.

This means that Senegal and Ecuador will be England’s most likely opponents if they are able to top Group B.

Coming second will mean a clash with the winners of Group A – probably The Netherlands – on Saturday 3 December, kicking off at 3pm.

If England win their group, their quarter-final would be at 7pm on Saturday 10 December. There, they would most likely face France, provided the reigning champions top Group D and overcome their second round opponents, most likely Mexico or Poland.

However, if England come second in their group, their quarter-final tie would be held on Friday 9 December at 7pm.

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 16: Harry Kane of England poses during the official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 portrait session on November 16, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Harry Kane will be hoping to fire England to glory at Qatar 2022 (Photo: Fifa/Getty Images)

This could mean that they play Argentina in the quarter-final, as long as they top their group and overcome the runners-up in Group D, who are likely to be Denmark.

Things get a little more complicated in the semi-finals, with any of the teams in the other side of the draw a potential opponent, depending on how they (and England) fared in the groups.

If Southgate’s side came top of Group B, their semi-final would be on Wednesday 14 December at 7pm, with a clash on Tuesday 13 December at the same time if they were runners-up.

Southgate’s side could be drawn against any of the likes of SpainGermanyBrazilBelgiumPortugal or Uruguay in the semis.

At least the date of the final is set in stone – it’s being played at the Lusail Iconic Stadium at 3pm on Sunday 18 December.

For a shot at the title England can essentially play any side that they haven’t already beaten in the knock-out stages, so take your pick from the teams named above.

When is England vs Wales?

England’s final match of the group stages, the all-British affair against Wales, is being played at 7pm on Tuesday 29 November.

It is being broadcast on BBC One, with all the build-up starting at 6pm. Gary Lineker will be presenting the coverage, with commentary from Guy Mowbray and Danny Gabbidon.

The 2022 World Cup is being aired entirely on free-to-air television in the UK with BBC and ITV sharing the rights.

This means that England vs Wales will be available to live stream free on either BBC iPlayer or the BBC Sport website.

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What is the schedule for World Cup 2022?

The 2022 final falls exactly four weeks after the tournament started on Sunday 20 November, making it the shortest tournament since the World Cup switched to its current, 32-team format in 1998.

Under this condensed format, designed to fit into the European domestic season, the group stages come to an end on Friday 2 December, with the knockout rounds proceeding as follows:

Round of 16

Saturday 3 December

  • 49: Winners of Group A vs Runners-up of Group B (Khalifa International Stadium; 3pm)
  • 50: Winners of Group C vs Runners-up of Group D (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium; 7pm)

Sunday 4 December

  • 52: Winners of Group D vs Runners-up of Group C (Al Thumama Stadium; 3pm)
  • 51: Winners of Group B vs Runners-up of Group A (Al Bayt Stadium; 7pm)

Monday 5 December

  • 53: Winners of Group E vs Runners-up of Group F (Al Janoub Stadium; 3pm)
  • 54: Winners of Group G vs Runners-up of Group H (Stadium 974; 7pm)

Tuesday 6 December

  • 55: Winners of Group F vs Runners-up of Group E (Education City Stadium; 3pm)
  • 56: Winners of Group H vs Runners-up of Group G (Lusail Iconic Stadium; 7pm)

Quarter-finals

Friday 9 December

  • 58: Winners of 53 vs Winners of 54 (Education City Stadium; 3pm)
  • 57: Winners of 49 vs Winners of 50 (Lusail Iconic Stadium; 7pm)

Saturday 10 December

  • 60: Winners of 55 vs Winners of 56 (Al Thumama Stadium; 3pm)
  • 59: Winners of 51 vs Winners of 52 (Al Bayt Stadium; 7pm)

Semi-finals

Tuesday 13 December

  • 61: Winners of 57 vs Winners of 58 (Lusail Iconic Stadium; 7pm)

Wednesday 14 December

  • 62: Winners of 59 vs Winners of 60 (Al Bayt Stadium; 7pm)

Third-place play-off

  • Saturday 17 December (Khalifa International Stadium; 3pm)

Final

  • Sunday 18 December (Lusail Iconic Stadium; 3pm)

Following the final, the first round of Premier League fixtures after the break will be played on Boxing Day, with seven games.

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