Euro 2020: What would England's route to the final look like? These are the potential fixtures

England
(Image credit: Getty)

Yes, it's already time to map out England's route to the final of Euro 2020. The Three Lions are through to the knockout stages and it's time to start dreaming – and planning out the rest of the England EUro 2020 fixtures.

We've been here before. England's run to the semis at the 2018 World Cup was based on three things: set-pieces, a strong meme game and carefully navigating a way through the competition to avoid the big guns. While Belgium topped the group last time - and faced Japan, Brazil and France thereafter - England took a hit by losing their third group match and finishing second, getting an easier run of Colombia, Sweden and Croatia.

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This time around, the Group of Death's runner-up is waiting in the wings for England should they top their own Group of Mild Peril. Are England better off throwing one of their remaining games to get an easier run?

Who will England play if they finish top of Group D?

Euro 2020

(Image credit: Future)

So it looks like England will have to face one of France or Portugal from Group F, should they top their group. Portugal's clash against Germany this weekend could be key for determining the opposition. Assuming they win though, the final game between France and Portugal will become a play-off, essentially, of who avoids playing England at Wembley.

Should England beat the loser in that scenario - and that's not going to be a walk in the park - the quarter-final tie will most likely see Gareth Southgate's side up against Group E's winner in Rome. That's probably going to be Spain or Sweden - though Slovakia currently lead on points. 

Looking forward to the semi-finals - which will be back in London - the strongest teams that England could perhaps face are Wales, Germany or Netherlands, depending on how that side of the draw plays out. That gives England a final against any of the big teams we've not mentioned - namely, Italy, Belgium or the other one out of France or Portugal. Perhaps even Croatia, if they pull their socks up. 

The most likely route? Well, France looked most convincing in Group F - so Les Bleus winning the group would give England a path of Portugal, Spain, Netherlands and Italy. It's not easy - and there could be lots of shocks along the way - but the hardest of those games could well be Portugal. And judging by 2016, it's maybe easier to play them before they've got into their groove...

Who will England play if they finish second in Group D?

Euro 2020

(Image credit: Future)

We've got news for anyone suggesting Southgate puts out a B-team against the Czech Republic: it's not that much easier.

Finishing second in Group D sees England come up against the runner-up of Group E in Copenhagen. That's Spain, Sweden or Slovakia: all easier than facing Group F's runner-up, admittedly, but then the Three Lions would still end up facing either France or Portugal in the quarter-final in Saint Petersburg. If anything, it's probably worse to face one of those two in the quarters, as they'll have had four games to find their rhythm before playing England. Plus, if England face them early, they can do it at home.

Overcome one of 2016's finalists and England would set up a semi against any of Italy, Belgium or perhaps even Germany at Wembley Stadium. Italy have arguably been the team of the tournament so far, Belgium have genuine world-class in attack and a great recent record against England and Germany... well, we don't need to remind you about England playing Germany in the semi-finals of the Euros at Wembley, now do we?

Either way, all roads lead to the other one of France or Portugal in the final - potentially Wales or Netherlands, should one of these pull off an almighty surprise. The old adage is correct though: you've got to beat the best if you want to be the best... 

Who will England play if they finish third in Group D?

Of course, England don't need to win or even come second – they've already booked their place in the next round.

A bad day at the office to the Czech Republic could see the Three Lions finish third. And with two third-place teams already finishing their group on three points, England would be fine with their four.

WAIT, HOW DOES THIS WORK? Euro 2020 format: Which third-placed teams qualify for the knockout stages?

Such is the horrendously complicated format, England could face one of Spain, Sweden or even Belgium in the next round: having lost two games at Wembley, they would have their work cut out against any of those teams - plus, they wouldn't be at home for that game. 

How about Italy in the next round? Or even France or Portugal, depending on who wins the group of death? With virtually any team possible to face and so many sides growing as the competition progresses, it's not a position any team with three points should actively try and play for.

It seems unlikely at this point but England really can't rest after beating Croatia. Finishing third in Group D would give them a hellish run. 

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