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World Cup 2018 last 16: Who could England, Brazil, Mexico & more face in knockouts?

20:10 BST 28/06/2018
Harry Kane England World Cup
Goal takes a look at the possible match-ups in the knockout phase as the group stage heats up

The World Cup is past the halfway point, with the group stage having served up some exciting games, with a few surprising results.

The final round of fixtures are being played out and we will soon know which teams will progress to the last 16 of the tournament.

The knockout stage fixture schedule is already laid out, but as yet we can only project the potential match-ups.

So, who could the likes of England, Brazil and Mexico face in the last 16? Goal brings you the permutations.

World Cup last-16 permutations

Group stage games will be wrapped up on June 28. Some groups have already been decided while others are dependent on results on matchday three.

The knockout stage kicks off with the last 16 and the first of those eight matches take place on June 30, with the others following on July 1, 2 and 3.

First up on June 30, the winners of Group C take on the runners-up in Group D, with the winners of Group A playing the runners-up from Group B later that day.

On July 1, the winners of Group B play the runners-up from Group A in the first game, with the winners of Group D facing the runners-up from Group C in the second game of the day.

The winners of Group E take on the runners-up from Group F in the first game on July 2 and the Group G winners play the Group H runners-up that evening.

The final round of last 16 games takes place on July 3, with Group F's winners playing Group E's runners-up in the first game and the winners of Group H playing Group G's runners-up.

You can see the projected last 16 ties in the table below, which will be updated accordingly.

Date Team Result Team
June 30 France - Argentina
June 30 Uruguay - Portugal
July 1 Spain - Russia
July 1 Croatia - Denmark
July 2 Brazil - Mexico
July 2 Belgium - Japan
July 3 Sweden - Switzerland
July 3 Colombia - England

Bold denotes qualified and position assured.
Bold and italics denotes qualified but position not assured.
Italics denotes position but no qualification assured.

(Last updated: Wednesday June 27)

Tournament hosts Russia will face off against 2010 winners Spain, which represents a difficult task indeed.

Defending champions Germany crashed out after a shock 2-0 defeat by South Korea as Sweden pipped Mexico to top spot in Group F after a 3-0 win over El Tri. Sweden will now face Switzerland in the last 16.

Both France and Denmark progressed to the last 16 after playing out a 0-0 draw in the final game of Group C, knocking out Australia.

Argentina were on the verge of being eliminated in the group stage but managed to beat Nigeria 2-1 in the dying minutes of the game, which enabled them to secure the second spot in Group D. Croatia went into their final fixture having secured first place and also won 2-1 against Iceland, who were eliminated from the tournament without recording a single win.

Colombia managed to claim the top spot of Group H with a 1-0 win over Senegal, while Japan lost to Poland 1-0 but managed to qualify due to the FIFA fair play rules tie-breaker. Due to Senegal finishing level with Japan but having picked up more yellow cards, the fair play rules went against them and favoured Japan.

Belgium topped Group G after registering a 1-0 victory over England, which means that they will face Japan in the next round. England will then face Colombia in the last 16, with the winner of the tie facing either Sweden or Switzerland in the quarter-final.

World Cup quarter-final permutations

Once the last 16 ties are decided, there will be a break of two days before the action resumes with the quarter-finals on July 6 and 7.

The quarter-final games will see the teams that emerge from from either Group A or B and Group C or D go head-to-head, while teams that get out of Group E or F will play those from either G or H.

You can see the potential quarter-final match-ups in the table below.

Date Team Result Team
July 6 France/Argentina - Uruguay/Portugal
July 6 Spain/Russia - Croatia/Denmark
July 7 Brazil/Mexico - Belgium/Japan
July 7 Sweden/Switzerland - Colombia/England