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

Harry Kane England World Cup
(Getty Images)

The World Cup is well and truly under way, with the group stage already serving up some exciting games, with a few surprising results.

Matchday two has kicked off and we will soon have a better idea of which teams will progress to the last 16 of the tournament ahead of the final matchday.

The knockout stage fixture schedule is already laid out, but as of this early stage 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 may well be decided before the final matchday, depending on results.

The knock-out 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 Iceland
June 30 Russia Portugal/Spain
July 1 Portugal/Spain Uruguay
July 1 Croatia Denmark
July 2 Brazil Mexico/Sweden
July 2 Belgium Japan/Senegal
July 3 Mexico/Sweden Serbia
July 3 Japan/Senegal 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: Thursday June 21)

Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal World Cup

France could well find themselves up against Argentina in the last 16 should Lionel Messi and Co. fail to achieve top spot in Group D.

Elsewhere, it’s likely that tournament hosts Russia will face off against one of Portugal or Spain, which would represent a difficult task indeed.

From Group G, England or Belgium look like they will face either Senegal or Japan if the first round of results are anything to go by, while Brazil could find themselves up against Mexico or Sweden.

As yet there is no sign of reigning champions Germany in the permutations following their opening defeat to Mexico, but that could well change.

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/Iceland Russia/Portugal/Spain
July 6 Portugal/Spain/Uruguay Croatia/Denmark
July 7 Brazil/Mexico/Sweden Belgium/Japan/Senegal
July 7 Mexico/Sweden/Serbia Japan/Senegal/England