Kick-off times, route to final, and latest injury news for Qatar

Latest England news from Qatar

By Matt Law and Jason Burt

England have suffered a World Cup injury scare over captain Harry Kane after it emerged the striker will undergo a scan on his ankle.

Kane suffered a blow to his right ankle in the victory over Iran, which he and manager Gareth Soutgate initially thought was fine.

But it emerged on Tuesday night that Kane will have a scan on his ankle, despite the fact the Football Association said he took part in an indoor recovery session during the afternoon.

There was no indication as to whether or not the scan is precautionary or in response to Kane feeling further discomfort.

News of his scan will come as a huge scare to England as they prepare for their second group game against the United States on Friday.

Even though he did not get on the scoresheet in the 6-2 victory over Iran, Kane still performed excellently and registered two assists.

Southgate has Marcus Rashford, who scored as a substitute, and Callum Wilson, who replaced Kane against Iran, but losing England’s top scorer for any length of time would be a bitter blow.

England’s Group B opponents

Wales reached the World Cup finals in dramatic style via the qualifying play-offs, after beating an impassioned Ukraine side in Cardiff in June. Victory for Wales’ talent-studded golden generation booked them a trip to the nation’s second ever World Cup finals – their first since 1958.

USA also make their return to the tournament after an absence, albeit a less protracted one. After failing to make it to Russia in 2018, USA came third in Concacaf qualifiers to secure their place in Qatar. More so than ever, team players will be familiar to Premier League fans, due to the league’s recent influx of American players, including Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson at Leeds, Antonee Robinson at Fulham, and USA captain Christian Pulisic, who plays for Chelsea.

Whilst Wales and the USA could cause group upset and jostle for runners-up spot, Iran are the underdogs of Group B. Although a Fifa ranking of 22 suggests they are by no means one of the weakest sides in the competition statistically, preparations have been marred by infighting while head coach Dragan Skocic has been replaced by former manager Carlos Queiroz, who oversaw the team’s group stage knock- out in Russia.

World Cup schedule

If England win Group B

The winners of Group B will play the runners-up of Group A – Qatar, Holland, Ecuador and Senegal – with the Afcon winners their most likely opponents.

France are favorites to win Group D, over Denmark, Tunisia and Australia, and would face the Group C runner-up out of Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico or Poland to win the chance to face England in the quarter-finals, should Southgate’s men make it out of the last-16 knock-out round.

If England reached the semi-finals, they could meet either Belgium or Portugal, strong contenders in Group F and H, and a potential final could see England meet Spain, Brazil, or Germany.

If England finish as runners-up in Group B

This would set up a clash between the winner of Group A, and if England were to beat Holland, they could face Argentina or Denmark in the quarter-finals.

In this scenario, should England make it to the semi-finals, their opponents might be one of either Spain, Germany, or Brazil, the cream of the crop from Groups E and G, to set up a possible final against France, Belgium, or Portugal in Lusail.

Quarter-final dates

The first two quarter-finals will take place on Friday, December 9, at 3pm and 7pm, and will be played at Education City Stadium and Lusail Iconic Stadium. The remaining quarter-finals are on Saturday, December 10, at 3pm and 7pm, and will be played at Al Thumama Stadium and Al Bayt Stadium.

Semi-final dates

The semi-finals will take place on Tuesday, December 13 and Wednesday, December 14, at Lusail Iconic Stadium and Al Bayt Stadium, with both matches taking place at 7pm.

Final

The World Cup final will take place on Sunday, December 18 at 3pm at Lusail Iconic Stadium.

Who is in the England squad?

Southgate has named a 26-man squad for the tournament, including call-ups for James Maddison and Conor Gallagher.

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