Euro 2016: Who will England and Wales face if they make it to the last 16?


Ahead of England's and Wales' final Euro 2016 group matches we wanted to work out how likely they were to make it to the next round and who they might face.

Uefa's system of best-performing third-placed teams and tie-breakers is a nightmare, so we got our data team to build a model that works it all out for us.

Using an average of the latest bookmakers' odds for each of the remaining matches, we simulated the rest of the group phase tens of thousands of times to see where each team was most likely to end up.


Graphic showing last 16 scenarios for England

The good news is that England are overwhelmingly likely to remain in France beyond the group stage - the bookies think that there's around a 94% chance of them finishing first or second in Group B and even if they dropped to third with defeat this evening their record would probably be good enough to advance as one of the best third-placed teams.

With England strong favourites to top their group, their most likely opponents will be a third-placed team from Group A, C or D. Albania - should they make the cut - are the likeliest to be thrown into England's path as they are already confirmed as the third-placed team in Group A.

Depending on how they get on against world champions Germany in Group C tomorrow, a meeting with Northern Ireland could also be on the cards if England remain at the Group B summit. Michael O'Neill's side are expected to lose but can't drop lower than third, so they should progress if they can keep the scoreline respectable.

The Czech Republic and Croatia are also relatively likely opponents for England depending on how the rest of Group D plays out, while there's an unlikely but worrying scenario where England face the Germans in the last 16, which could happen if either of them fluffs their lines in the final match and ends up third while the other tops their group.


graohic showing wales progressing last 16 euro 2016

The win that Wales secured in their opening match gives them a roughly four-in-five chance of making the last 16, at least according to the latest odds. A point against Russia would be enough for them to finish third and if England beat Slovakia then they could even sneak into the knock-out stages with a loss.

Second place looks the most likely scenario for the Welsh, which would pit them against the runners-up from Group F. Hungary - who also won their opening match - are therefore their most probable last 16 opponents. However if the Hungarians can frustrate Portugal in their final match then it could be the Portuguese or Iceland who end up in their path, although there is a far scarier alternative which is more likely.

Should Chris Coleman's side scrape through in third place then they are likely to be dumped into the path of the winners of Group C. Unless Northern Ireland have saved their best performance for last, this is probably going to be Germany.