England are through to the knockout stages at Euro 2024, but as the winners of Group C they probably won’t know their round-of-16 opponents until the group stage is completed on Wednesday.

The top teams in Groups B, C, E and F will take on one of the four teams who go through as best third-placed finishers. And that’s all going to depend on who qualifies.

How do they decide the fixtures?

UEFA created a grid before the tournament began which set out where each third-placed team would go depending on which four groups provided the qualifiers.

It does not matter if a country was the best third-placed team or the fourth-best, allocation is purely based upon the grid.

What options are still open?

As we know that Group C (Slovenia) and Group D (Netherlands) have provided teams, and that Group B (Croatia) cannot, only three combinations are now possible: ACDE, ACDF and CDEF. This refers to the letters of the groups who provide the qualifiers.

The two teams joining Slovenia and Netherlands will be: Hungary and a team from Group E, or Hungary and a team from Group F, or teams from Group E and F.

What does this mean for England?

England have two possible round-of-16 opponents: Netherlands or the team who finish third in Group E (that’s the group with Belgium in it.)

What needs to happen for England to play Netherlands?

If Hungary qualify in third from Group A, England will play Netherlands.

If Hungary miss out, meaning Groups E and F both provide third-placed teams, England will play the team who finish third in Group E.

What are the scenarios in Group E?

England could actually find out who they will play at the end of the day’s first games.

If either game in Group E is drawn (Slovakia and Romania will both go through if they draw their match), the third placed team will have a better record than Hungary, and England will have to wait until Group F finishes.

But if the third-placed team in Group E finish with a worse record than Hungary, England will definitely play Netherlands.

However, the scope for the third placed team to be knocked out is quite small. A two-goal win for Belgium over Ukraine is the most plausible route for the Group E team to miss out.

  • If Romania and Belgium win, Ukraine finish third and will qualify unless they lose to Belgium by 2+ goals, or 1-0 and pick up at least seven disciplinary points (a yellow is worth one point.)

  • If Romania and Ukraine win, Slovakia finish third and will qualify unless they lose to Romania by 4+ goals, or 3-0 and pick up at least eight disciplinary points (a yellow is worth one point.)

  • If Slovakia and Ukraine win, Belgium finish third and will qualify unless they lose to Ukraine by 5+ goals, or 4-0 and pick up at least six disciplinary points (a yellow is worth one point.)

  • If Slovakia and Belgium win, Romania finish third and will qualify unless they lose to Slovakia by 5+ goals.

What are the scenarios in Group F?

If England are still waiting to find out who they’ll play, it will be decided in Group F.

If the third-place team from Group F does not qualify, England will play Netherlands.

If the third-place team from Group F qualifies, England will play the team who finish third in Group E.

There are only a handful of scenarios whereby the team in Group F would qualify.

  • Portugal win or draw with Georgia, and Czechia beat Turkey by one or two goals

  • Georgia and Turkey win

  • Georgia and Czechia win

  • Georgia win and Turkey draw

Any other combination of results — including the first bullet with Czechia winning by 3+ goals — means England play Netherlands.

So, what are the possible fixtures for all group winners?

As set out by which groups provide the third-placed teams, is as follows.

ACDE
England vs. Netherlands
Spain vs. 3E
Portugal vs. Hungary
Winners of Group E vs. Slovenia

ACDF
England vs. Netherlands
Spain vs. 3F
Portugal vs. Hungary
Winners of Group E vs. Slovenia

CDEF
England vs. 3E
Spain vs. 3F
Portugal vs. Slovenia
Winners of Group E vs. Netherlands