by Sylvain Jamet

The FIFA WWC 2015 is a 24 team competition and England will have their work cut out if they want to reach the World cup final at BC Place in Vancouver.

Because of the 24 team format there are four pathways to the final rather than the usual two associated with the men’s tournament or the recent WWC tournament that was played with only 16 teams.

Please note that the times are all indicated as UK time.

Group stage, England – Group F

France 9.06.15 1800 in Moncton

A tough game against the world ranked number three side.

Mexico 13.06.15 2100 in Moncton

A must-win game if the result against France has not been positive. Mexico are ranked 25th by FIFA.

Columbia 17.06.15 2100 in Montreal

Another decisive game against the weakest side of the group as they are ranked 28th by FIFA.

Knock-out stage plan A

England win group F and this is the best pathway as all the games until the final will be played at the Olympics Stadium in Montreal. It would mean no hotel move from 14th to 31st June for England, the ideal solution.

Last 16 v Runner-up Group E 21.06.15 21.00 Spain, Costa Rica, Brazil or Korea

A winnable game against medium-range opponent unless it’s Brazil, but England’s tactics would work well against them.

Quarter final v Germany if the world number one goes through as expected 26.06.15 21.00

A tough game to be played against the top team as seen at Wembley with the 3-0 defeat to them.

Semi-final v USA 30.06.15 00.00+1 (midnight ko)

If things go according to plan for the US WNT which is not guaranteed and an outsider could be met here.

Final v whoever 5.07.15 00.00+1 (midnight ko) Vancouver

Should England reach the final they would not worry any more after eliminating big teams and could meet Japan the holders, Canada the home team or Sweden.

Knock-out stage plan B

England finish runner up in Group F probably behind France and are set for multiple travel adventures and a lot more tiredness and settling time.

Last 16 v runner up Group B probably Norway 22.06.15  22.00 Ottawa

A winnable game against a difficult but well known opponent.

Quarter final v ?  27.06.15 00.30+1( half past midnight ko) Vancouver

England could meet the home team Canada or one of the best third placed teams. Games against the host nation tend to be tight and scrappy with not many goals scored.

Semi finals   v ? 01.07.15 00.00+1 (midnight ko) Edmonton

Spain, Japan, Switzerland or even a random outsider could be meet here. All those game would be winnable as this side of the draw is a lot more open that the other one with Germany and then USA to meet.

Final v whoever 5.07.15 00.00+1 (midnight ko) Vancouver

It might be France, USA or Germany – a tough game as every world cup final should be.

Due to the 24 team format the best four third placed teams out of six also qualify alongside the top two teams from each group.

Should England finish in third place and go through there are two pathways.

Knock-out stage plan C

Last 16 v  Group D winner 22.06.15 01.00+1 (1am ko) Edmonton

Well that would mean meeting probably the USA or Sweden, a tough ask again.

Quarter-finals v 2A/2C 26.06.15 00.30+1 ( half pas midnight ko) Ottawa

Probably a winnable game against a group runner-up.

Semi-final v France or Germany 30.06.15 00.00+1 (midnight ko)

Final v whoever 5.07.15 00.00+1 (midnight ko) Vancouver

Should England reach the final they would not worry any more after eliminating big teams.

Knock-out stage plan D

Last 16 v Group C winner either Japan or Switzerland 23.06.15 03.00+1 (3am ko) Vancouver

Another tough game although Switzerland are a dark horse in the competition.

Quarter-final v 1E/2D 27.06.15 2100

Difficult to predict who could be met as five or six teams are good enough to reach this stage in that bracket.

Semi finals  v ? 01.07.15 00.00+1 (midnight ko) Edmonton

Canada or an outsider could be met here, again impossible to predict as it is the open side of the draw.

Final v whoever 5.07.15 00.00+1 (midnight ko) Vancouver

It might be, France USA or Germany a tough game as every world cup final should be.

It is important to note that the draw was not conducted the usual FIFA way. You usually get the home team selected as A1 and then all the top seeds are drawn in Group B, C, D, E and F.

This time FIFA and the NOC decided to assign the seeds their group and location and therefore organised the road to the final. Canada’s half of the draw is certainly weaker than the other one if things go according to rankings.

I mean how can the world number one Germany and number three France be set to meet in the quarter finals and the winner would then take on the world number the USA.

England certainly have a long road to the final.

Let’s hope Mark Sampson and his side can get as far as possible to give the women’s game a needed boost domestically.