England’s route to glory at the 2018 World Cup
England’s potential opponents if they progress in Russia.
England face Colombia in the last 16 of the World Cup on Tuesday.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at the Three Lions’ potential route to the final, using the world rankings to determine opponents from the quarter-finals onwards.
v Colombia, last 16
Jose Pekerman’s men topped Group H despite losing their opening game against Japan, and looked very impressive in a 3-0 win against Poland. James Rodriguez, the star of Colombia’s run to the quarter-finals in 2014, will hope to be fit to face the Three Lions.
v Switzerland, quarter-finals
The world rankings suggest the Swiss would get the better of Sweden in the last 16, but England 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
Spain’s loss to hosts Russia has blown the draw wide open. The home favourites did so with a resolute defensive performance before a shoot-out win. The question now is can they live with the creativity of Croatia and the brilliant Luka Modric?
v Brazil, final
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 Mexico, Belgium and France to get this far, but they have the pedigree to do it.