England World Cup Fixtures – The Three Lions’ Record Against 2022 Group Stage Opponents
After their near miss at Euro 2020, England World Cup fixtures will take centre stage in football news later this year. The Three Lions head to Qatar to take on the challenge of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It’s a big one for head coach Gareth Southgate, who has come under increasing pressure following a run of poor results.
Following a disappointing 2022 UEFA Nations League campaign, that ended in relegation, the Three Lions will not be heading to Qatar in any kind of positive form. Failure to get far, could mean that Southgate will be facing the exit as the national side’s head coach.
But can they shrug all of that off and go deep into the draw at the FIFA World Cup? Just like they did four years ago when Southgate took them to the semi-finals?
In this unprecedented season, where Europe’s big leagues including the Premier League, La Liga and the German Bundesliga break for the World Cup, we look ahead to England’s World Cup fixtures in the group stage.
What lies ahead in England World Cup Fixtures 2022?
Qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was no problem for England. The Three Lions went undefeated in their campaign with a W8 D2 record from their ten matches. But then qualification for major tournaments has not been an issue for England.
It has been backing up that form in the tougher climate of competitions themselves. But their appearance in the Final of Euro 2020, showed England in a new light. That proved that they could pull together and make a run at a title.
But getting across the finish line first is a different matter. While England’s autumn form made a bit of a mockery of their World Cup odds, they remain among the leading pack.
England World Cup Fixtures – Group Stage
The first challenge lined up in the England World Cup fixtures is the group stage, where they face Iran, Wales and the United States. On paper, it is not the most difficult of roads ahead to the knockout stage of the tournament for the Three Lions.
But on the pitch at World Cup 2022, they are going to face teams who are potentially going to set themselves up to be difficult to break down.
With England’s goal-scoring form going off the boil in the UEFA Nations League, and a lack of creativity from midfield, there may be frustrating fixtures ahead at the 2022 World Cup for England.
England Fixtures – World Cup 2022 Dates
- 21st November – England vs Iran
- 25th November – England vs the United States
- 29th November – Wales vs England
What Does History Tell Us Ahead Of England World Cup Fixtures?
There are a minimum of three England fixtures to look forward to at the World Cup. Supporters will, of course, be hoping that there is a lot more than that. But with the draw for the group stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup locked in, England boss Gareth Southgate has had plenty of time to come up with some plans for those initial challenges.
England are odds-on in World Cup betting to win their group. But what does the head-to-head history between England and the three nations that they will face on the World Cup stage tell us?
Next, we dive back through the history of international football to size up England’s record against their World Cup Group Stage opponents. Following that, we’ll look at options of who they could face in the Round of 16 as well.
England vs Iran
England and Iran have never met before, so there will be new ground broken when the two meet in Qatar later this year.
Iran’s World Cup Record – P15 W2 D4 L9
This will be the sixth World Cup appearance for Iran. They made their debut in 1978, losing all three of their group stage matches. Iran did not make another appearance in the World Cup until 1998.
During the group stage of the 1998 World Cup, Iran claimed their first-ever win in the tournament. That was in a narrow 2-1 victory over the United States. After missing 2002, Iran were back in the 2006 World Cup which ended without a win.
That was the same story in the 2014 World Cup, but then for the first time, Iran made consecutive World Cup appearances by going to the 2018 edition. They finished with a W1 D1 L1 record there, bowing out in the group stage.
England vs Wales
A local derby. A nice bit of rivalry and needle. That will all come about when England face Wales at the 2022 World Cup. This may not be a cut-and-dry affair for the Three Lions either.
England hold a W12 D2 L3 record against the Welsh. But the last time that they met competitively was at Euro 2016 and the Welsh gave England a big scare. Gareth Bale had given Wales the lead, which lasted all of 14 minutes.
The resistance of the Welsh was only broken in the final minute of the match when Daniel Sturridge netted a late winner for England. Once again, Gareth Bale, who currently plays in the MLS with Los Angeles FC will be key to Wales’s chances of upsetting England.
The two nations will meet for the first time since a 2020 international friendly that England won 3-0. Only in one of the last seven meetings between the two nations have both teams scored. England are on a six-match winning streak against Wales, five of those victories coming with a clean sheet.
England and Wales have never met at the FIFA World Cup Finals.
Wales’s World Cup Record – P5 W1 D3 L1
Wales make just their second World Cup appearance. It was a massive effort through their qualification campaign, having to battle through the play-offs. But they got there and will get a chance to build on their 1958 appearance.
The 1958 World Cup went pretty well for Wales actually as they reached the quarter-finals, helped along by performances from the great John Charles. They drew all three group stage matches, finishing level on points with Hungary.
Wales and Hungary met in an extra play-off match to decide who would go through to the knockout stages. Wales won that play-off 2-1. The Welsh were then defeated in the quarter-finals by eventual winner Brazil, but only by a 1-0 scoreline in Gothenburg, Sweden.
England vs The United States
A bogey team for England at the World Cup perhaps? The Three Lions have faced the USA twice before in the World Cup and failed to win either. The first of those was back in the 1950 edition when the USA upset the odds with a shock 1-0 win.
The two then met at the 2010 World Cup and the USA dug in there for a well-earned 1-1 draw in the group stage. Steven Gerrard had given England a great start by scoring in the 4th minute, but the Three Lions played poorly and were pegged back late in the first half by a Clint Dempsey strike.
England’s overall head-to-head record against the USA is W8 D1 L2, however. This will be the first meeting between the two nations since a 3-0 victory for England in a 2018 friendly.
USA World Cup Record – P33 W8 D6 L19
The USA are in their 11th FIFA World Cup. They failed to qualify for the 2018 edition, snapping a run of six consecutive appearances. Qualification for the 2022 World Cup wasn’t straightforward for them either.
They finished third in the CONMEBOL qualifiers behind Canada and Mexico. The USA ended level on points with Costa Rica, who had to go to an inter-confederation play-off due to a worse goal difference record than that of the United States in the qualifiers.
Only in one of their last four appearances at the World Cup have the USA failed to get out of the group stage. The USA were involved in the inaugural World Cup in 1930 and finished in third place. Their best effort since then was that exciting roller coaster run to the quarter-finals in 2022.
England’s FIFA World Cup Finishes
- 1950 – Group Stage
- 1954 – Quarter Finals
- 1958 – Group Stage
- 1962 – Quarter Finals
- 1966 – Winners
- 1970 – Quarter Finals
- 1982 – Second Group Stage
- 1986 – Quarter Finals
- 1990 – Fourth Place
- 1998 – Round of 16
- 2002 – Quarter Finals
- 2006 – Quarter Finals
- 2010 – Round Of 16
- 2014 – Group Stage
- 2018 – Fourth Place
Overall record from England World Cup Fixtures: P69 W29 D21 L19
England World Cup Fixtures – Potential Round Of 16 Opponents
If England qualify from Group B of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, they will meet someone from Group A. That’s not the worst draw with Group A hosting host nation Qatar, along with Ecuador, Senegal and the Netherlands.
Avoiding the Netherlands, who are enjoying a huge revival at the moment, could be the key for England here. If both win their groups as respective favourites, then that won’t happen.
But it’s a potential clash, all the same, so let’s dive into who England could meet in the Round of 16.
England World Cup Fixtures – Round of 16
- 3rd December – Runners-up Group B vs Winners Group A
- 4th December – Group B Winners vs Runners-up Group A
England vs The Netherlands
England were beaten 3-1 by the Netherlands in their most recent meeting. That was in the 2019 Nations League semi-finals. England have won only one of their last nine matches against the Dutch, so the Oranje are clear ones to try and avoid.
The one previous World Cup meeting between the nations came in 1990. The group stage match ended in a 0-0 draw.
England vs Ecuador
One of the England World Cup fixtures in 2006 was against Ecuador. Former Manchester United star David Beckham netted the only goal of the game for England. That was in the Round of 16 and there’s a chance that there could be a repeat of such a match.
England vs Senegal
England has never met Senegal before, but do have a very good World Cup record against African nations, however, of W4 D3 from seven previous fixtures.
England vs Qatar
England has never before met Qatar, so there’s no history to look back on.