This matrix shows the earliest stage of the World Cup at which two teams could meet. This could either be the Group Stage (GS), Second Round (SR), Quarter Finals (QF) or the Semi Finals (SF).
For example England could face Brazil, Holland or Spain at the quarter-final stage, but they can’t be drawn against Germany until at least the semi-finals. Likewise Brazil won’t encounter Argentina unless both teams reach the last four, but the host nation could encounter Spain in the second round.
Note: If two teams face each other during the group stage, they can’t be drawn against each other again unless both make it to the final.