World Cup knockout stage: Route to the final for England and Wales
England and Wales are both in Group B at Qatar 2022 and are both hoping to reach the World Cup knockout stage, with their November 29 showdown potentially proving decisive.
Both sides enter the tournament in poor form. England are on a six-match winless run for only the fifth time in their history and Wales have gone five games without tasting victory since beating Ukraine in a qualification play-off.
That said, both nations have recent tournament pedigree, with Wales having led the way with a last-four showing at Euro 2016 before England followed suit with a semi-final appearance at the 2018 World Cup and then reached the final at Euro 2020.
Dutch await in the last 16
If England and Wales can overcome the United States and Iran in Group B, they will meet the winners and runners-up in Group A when the World Cup knockout stage begins.
The Netherlands – unbeaten in their last 15 matches – are strong favourites to occupy one of those spots, with Qatar, Ecuador and Senegal expected to compete for the other qualifying place.
Both home nations have struggled against the Dutch. England have suffered defeat in three of the last four meetings and Wales have lost all of their previous 10, including two in this year’s Nations League.
Argentina or France in the quarters
Argentina are the most likely quarter-final opponents for both England and Wales, ahead of France.
The Argentinians are on a 35-game unbeaten run – just two short of Italy’s international record – and are 2/5 to top Group C over Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia.
In Group D, reigning world champions France face Denmark and Australia, just as they did in 2018, alongside Tunisia.
England have not played France in a competitive fixture since Euro 2012, while their most recent meeting of any kind with Argentina was way back in 2005. Wales have not met either side in a major tournament.
Brazil favourites in the bottom half
Neither England nor Wales can meet teams in Groups E to H until the semi-finals, of which Brazil are the most likely opponents ahead of Spain, Portugal and Belgium.
Brazil are also rated as the most likely opposition in the final, should they be avoided in the semis.
Ranked number one in the world by FIFA since March, the Brazilians are comfortably the strongest team in Group G containing Cameroon, Serbia and Switzerland.
Tite’s side would start as favourites against either of the home nations, with their most recent defeat in any match coming three years ago against Argentina.
In fact, meeting Gareth Southgate’s side could be a good omen. Brazil have played England four times in World Cups and have won the tournament on each occasion.
Three of those meetings ended in a Brazilian victory, with the only exception being a 0-0 draw in 1958 – the same year in which Wales lost to Brazil in the quarter-finals of their only World Cup appearance to date.
Coral’s World Cup odds include markets on teams to reach the final and who they will face if they get there. Wales are 50/1 to get there while England are 7/2, with 25/1 on offer for them to meet Brazil in the Qatar 2022 showpiece.
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All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publication