Russia vs Egypt

Egypt need Mohamed Salah to be fit, firing in must-win game vs. Russia

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — For a man of modest demeanour, Mohamed Salah has the keenest sense of theatre. Over the past 12 months, storylines at club and international level have bent to his will, and even when things turned against him in the Champions League final, the biggest of all was the injury that threatened his participation at the World Cup.

Now the stage is set for Salah to make his most dramatic intervention of all: Egypt need him to rise, Lazarus-like, from the treatment table to save their tournament when they face a buoyant Russian side on Tuesday evening.

“Salah is fit,” Egypt coach Hector Cuper said to an expectant audience at his prematch news conference. “I hope he will be fit to play. I think he will be fit to play. He is an essential piece of this team.”

Tonally, there was not a huge difference between this and Cuper’s pronouncement four days earlier that Salah would face Uruguay. On that occasion Salah did not make it, and Egypt fell agonisingly short, losing to an 89th minute goal that left their hopes of escaping Group A hanging in the balance. He used the same caveat that he did then — Salah would face a fitness test before his participation was confirmed — and the element of doubt about the Liverpool forward’s true condition remains significant. But the sense is that Salah will be hauled up, out and onto the Krestovsky Stadium pitch, called upon to make the impossible a reality once again.

It certainly seemed that way during the team’s final training session in St. Petersburg. Salah participated fully and there was the curious sight of Egypt’s fitness coach purposefully bumping his shoulder as he ran along, as if to replicate the kind of impact he might expect to receive during one of his trademarks bursts down the flank. Egypt’s coaching staff are toughening him up as best it can.

“I’m not saying he is a guarantee, but he’s definitely an important offensive weapon, and I have to say that when we don’t have him, we feel his absence and need to come up with alternatives in the attack,” Cuper said.

It was some admission, but Cuper was merely stating the obvious. There was little wrong with Egypt’s defensive shape against Uruguay, but they barely created a true scoring chance despite one or two promising situations. Goals have rarely been a strong point under Cuper, and it was Salah, with that dramatic double contribution against Congo last October, who booked their World Cup trip in the first place.

Yet they need to pack a punch now, particularly as the five goals Russia scored against Saudi Arabia could prove crucial if the teams end up level on points. Cuper had to field questions from the Egyptian media about the team’s setup, which has long been deemed too defensive by some critics.

We have an identity, we have a personality. It may not please everyone, but we have our style,” he said. They do, but in order to be fully efficient, it depends hugely on explosive counterattacks led, and often finished, by Salah.

The encouragement for Egypt is that while Uruguay are a notoriously tough nut to crack, Russia should offer them opportunities. Stanislav Cherchesov’s side might have made the perfect start to their home tournament, but the reality is that they are a modest outfit that remain defensively vulnerable.

“We know how to do this, and tomorrow you will see it,” Cherchesov said when asked about their plan to repel Salah and Egypt.

Russia are likely to operate with caution, aware that a point would leave them in prime position to qualify. Keeping Egypt three points behind would leave the north Africans needing a goal bonanza of their own against the Saudis, and Salah or no Salah, it is not the kind of challenge they tend to find comfortable.

In short, Egypt need to start winning now. It could be a decisive evening for them and perhaps for Salah, too. He turned 26 on Saturday; it is perhaps the perfect age for a footballer, and there are no guarantees that four years from now, he will be operating at a level quite this devastating. It had always seemed written that his time to illuminate a World Cup would be now.

“Salah is one of the best players in the world, he’s in the top 10 today,” Cuper said when invited to lavish praise upon their talisman. Nobody would seriously dispute it; proving it again now might just be his biggest achievement yet.

Poland vs Senegal

What channel is Poland vs Senegal on? Kick-off time, live stream details and more ahead of World Cup 2018 clash

POLAND face Senegal as they get their respective World Cup campaigns underway.

Victory for either sides will give them an early advantage in a difficult Group H that also includes Colombia and Japan.

The Otkrytie Arena, home of Spartak Moscow, with host four group matches and a Last 16 clash
Can I live stream Poland vs Senegal and what TV channel is it on?

Poland vs Senegal will be live on ITV1.

You can also live stream the match on the ITV Hub.

TV coverage in Poland is shared between TVP and NC+.

Kwese Sports, SuperSport, StarTimes and Canal+ will be showing matches for Sub-Saharan African countries, including Senegal.

Alternatively, you can follow all the action on the SunSport LIVE BLOG.

How can I watch and live stream Poland vs Senegal for free?

ITV and ITV Hub are free for all UK viewers with a TV and TV licence.

It costs £150.50 for a colour and £50.50 for a black and white TV licence.

Get your licence here.

Highlights for ITV matches (but not BBC matches) will be available free to all UK viewers, including those without a TV license.
When is Poland vs Senegal?

Poland vs Senegal will take place on Tuesday, June 19.

The match will kick off at 4pm UK time.

That is 5pm in Warsaw and 3pm in Dakar.

It will take place at the Otkrytie Arena in Moscow.

Colombia vs Japan

Colombia vs Japan live streaming: Time, match details & prediction

Colombia vs Japan live streaming & watch time

Match: Colombia vs Japan

Competition: 2018 World Cup

Date: 19-06-2018

Kick-off time: 13:00 (UK time)

Stadium: Mordovia Arena (Saransk)

RADAMEL Falcao is finally healthy enough to play in his first World Cup and help Colombia show that its run four years ago in Brazil was no fluke.

He didn’t play in 2014 when Colombia advanced to the quarterfinals.

The Group H opener is a rematch of Colombia’s 4-1 victory over Japan in the final game of group play in the last World Cup, and both squads contain some of those same players.

James Rodriguez, the top scorer of the 2014 World Cup with six in five matches, is expected to play for Colombia despite a calf injury that has limited his preparation.

The team has not revealed if Rodriguez, who scored against Japan in Brazil, will start the game in Saransk.

Japan’s first World Cup appearance was in 1998, and they’ve not missed the tournament since; many in the current squad are on the international stage for a third consecutive time.
World Cup
Group Stage

The Asian giant comes into the tournament with a new coach, Akira Nishino, who is making his World Cup debut.

The Japanese Federation was not satisfied with former coach Vahid Halilhodzic, and many believe the late change will hurt Japan’s chances of doing much in this year’s tournament.

Peru vs Denmark

World Cup 2018: How to Watch Peru vs Denmark

Time: Saturday, June 16 at 12 p.m. ET
Channel: FS1, Telemundo and NBC Universo
Stream Online: Hulu with Live TV or fuboTV (Try for free)

Peru’s last appearance at the World Cup was in 1982, the longest break of any team previously playing in the tournament (this will be the first appearances for Iceland and Panama). While Peru was thrilled to be heading to the World Cup again, it certainly wasn’t without some bumps. Their captain, Paolo Guerrero, tested positive for a banned substance last year and was due to miss the World Cup in Russia. However, the captains of the other Group C teams (Denmark, Australia and France) wrote a letter to FIFA requesting that the ban be lifted, and he’s been cleared to play. Denmark last qualified in 2010, but they’ve been unbeaten in their last 11 games (6 wins, 5 draws), including a 4-0 win against highly-ranked Poland, and a 5-1 win against Ireland.

The game at Mordovia Arena, Saransk starts at 7 p.m. local time, or 12 p.m. Eastern (9 a.m. Pacific). You can watch it live on FS1 in English, or in Spanish on Telemundo and NBC Universo through your cable company. If you don’t have cable you can stream it via Hulu with Live TV, or fuboTV.

Peru, Denmark, Australia and France compete in Group C. Two of the teams will move on to the knockout stages beginning June 30th.

France vs Australia

France vs Australia Live Stream Text Score Commentary in World Cup 2018

Follow live France vs Australia stream score online from Kazan Arena. Live Scores updates of 2018 World Cup. France vs Australia live kick-off is set for 11 AM UK time. Keep following along for live football score in VAVEL UK.

How will they line up? Didier Deschamps has been alternating the 4-3-3 and 4-1-2-1-2 formations, using the latter more recently. This formation has Olivier Giroud in the side as opposed to the young winger Ousame Dembele and also Griezmann dropping behind the two strikers instead of leading the front three: Lloris, Sidibe, Umtiti, Varane, Mendy, Kante, Matuidi, Pogba, Griezmann, Giroud,

Mbappe.

How will they line up? Captain Mile Jedinak has been bumped to the bench recently for Massimo Luongo. However, it is likely that Van Marwijk will go for the leader and a defensive shutdown midfielder as opposed to another playmaker in Luongo.​ Australia have played a 4-4-1-1 and a 4-2-3-1 in friendlies, and I believe that Van Marwijk will go with the former, more defensive setup: Ryan, Risdon, Sainsbury, Milligan, Behich, Leckie, Mooy, Jedinak, Kruse, Rogic, Nabbout.

Yesterday’s transfer of the French winger Thomas Lemar made the headlines in France. The 22-year-old, who was close to signing for Arsenal on deadline day last summer, completed a huge transfer from AS Monaco to Atletico Madrid for £52.7 mil. This move adds even more fuel to the pre-existent conversation about a possible Antoine Griezmann transfer away from Wanda Metropolitano.

A headline out of the Australian camp before their World Cup opener is sadly remembering the 6-0 hiding they took last time from the French. Here is what Matthew Leckie said about the match to Australian outlet SBS: “Because of that reason we went into the game very worried, very vulnerable. Tactically we had no idea. It was a tough time. You could see there was absolutely no confidence in the camp. They scored early and the floodgates opened … it was definitely one to forget.”

This match will be the first of six held at the Kazan Arena, the home of Rubin Kazan. The 45,000 seater was finished in 2013 and did not need any further construction to prepare for the World Cup. The stadium has also successfully hosted the Confederations Cup and the 2015 World Aquatics Championships.

Australia opted to only play two friendlies, and can certainly take encouragement from their 4-0 win over Czech Republic and a 2-1 win over Ireland. Of the six goals, two of them were own goals by the opposition. Australia, who are expecting goals to be hard to come by, found three goalscorers in their ranks in the last two matches, definitely putting themselves in a dark horse position in Group C.

The French form in friendlies has been a bit of a mixed bag. The European side was looking strong with a 2-0 win over Ireland and a 3-1 win over Italy but ended the friendly campaign with a 1-1 draw against the USA. The fact that the star-studded French attack failed to break through the American defense more than once will certainly give some hope to Bert van Marwijk’s Australia.

France and Australia have played each other four times prior to this match, with two French wins, one Australian win, and one draw being the outcomes. The last match was in October 2013 at the Parc Des Princes in Paris. France absolutely stomped through the Aussie defense, winning 6-0. The French bagged all six within the first 50 minutes.

Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK’s live minute-by-minute match coverage and commentary. Today, Saturday 16th June 2018, sees France face off with Australia in the 2018 World Cup. This morning’s game kicks off at 11:00 GMT, giving the Brits a taste of morning football, which American Premier League fans experience on the weekly. Until then – we’ll have plenty of pre-match build-up and analysis from me, Jakub Bobro. Make sure you stay following.

Portugal vs Spain

2018 FIFA World Cup-Portugal Vs Spain-Preview! Live Streaming Information, Predicted Teams, World Cup Fixtures, Team News, Kick-off times

2016 European Champions Portugal start their World Cup campaign with an Iberian derby against rivals Spain, who have just sacked manager Julen Lopetegui twenty-four hours before the start of the World Cup. The game is taking place at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi. As ever you can watch the Stream of the match Live & Exclusive on beIN SPORTS CONNECT.

Portugal shocked many on route to claiming the 2016 European Championships in France, and will again be dark horses to go all the way again in Russia to lift their first ever World Cup. Head coach Fernando Santos guided his country through yet another successful qualification campaign, which saw Portugal lose once during the whole campaign.

Try our World Cup Quiz!

Understandably much of the focus will be on Cristiano Ronaldo to deliver for his national side. Ronaldo, who is Portugal’s all-time leading goal scorer will be charged with scoring and creating the goals to push his country deep in the competition. After picking up yet another Champions League title with Real Madrid, Ronaldo who at the ripe old age of 33 is as hungry as ever to add yet another trophy to his personal honours list.

Portugal Predicted Team

Patricio; Soares, Pepe, Fernandes, Guerreiro; B.Silva, Carvalho, Joao Mario, Martins; Ronaldo, Silva

How to watch Online- beIN SPORTS CONNECT

TV Channel- MAX HD3

Kick-off- 21:00

Stadium- Fisht Stadium, Sochi

As for Spain, their World Cup preparations were thrown into disarray when head coach Julen Lopetegui was relieved of his duties of managing the side just two days before their opener against Portugal. The timing of Real Madrid confirming that Lopetegui was to manage Los Blancos after the World Cup, was not ideal for the Spanish FA who was left with little choice than to fire the 51-year old coach.

Predict your World Cup winner!

Spain moved quickly to replace Lopetegui with sporting director Fernando Hierro. The former Real Madrid defender only has one year of experience managing Oviedo, and the 50-year old coach will be hoping his experienced side will be able to band together for their group B opener.

Spain Predicted Team

De Gea; Odriozola, Pique, Ramos, Alba; Alcantara, Busquets, Iniesta; Isco, Costa, Silva

Keeper David de Gea could be the key man for the La Roja heading into this Iberian showdown in Sochi. The Manchester United stopper has had yet another impressive club season and will be expected to be tested against a Portuguese side who like to play quickly on the break. Thankfully the keeper, who has been linked with Real Madrid in the past has some of the best reactions in world football and will be more than ready for the challenge from the Portuguese.

Morocco vs Iran

2018 FIFA World Cup- Morocco Vs Iran-Preview! Live Streaming Information, Predicted Teams, World Cup Fixtures, Team News, Kick-off times

Playboy’ in charge of some talented players

By African football standards, Morocco are a pretty experienced side at World Cup level. This is their fifth World Cup, albeit their first since 1998.

They have a good man in charge. Herve Renard, the 49-year-old Frenchman who looks more like a Monte Carlo-based playboy than a seasoned football manager of African international teams has a pretty good track record. It may be his first-ever World Cup but he’s the only manager to have won the African Cup of Nations with two different teams. He did so with Zambia and the Ivory Coast.

They have 17 players of their 23-man squad who were born in Europe and five of those were born in the Netherlands so you’d forgive a few Dutch football fans for cheering this lot on in the absence of their own team in Russia.

Real Madrid starlet Achraf Hakimi is in the squad, as is Hakim Ziyech of Ajax and Premier League fans might recognize Sofiane Boufal who is at Southampton. He’s likely to be more of an impact substitute than a starter, though.

The most recognisable name however is that of Medhi Benatia. Having 53 caps for your country is one thing, having Udinese, Roma, Bayern Munich and Juventus on your CV is another. He played 24 times for Juve last season and is their key man at the heart of their defence. Some people think they may perform a bit better than expected.

Resilience the name of the game

Speaking of experience, guess who manages this lot? Only Carlos Queiroz. Portugal (twice), Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United (Assistant manager), Real Madrid and South Africa are just some of the teams he’s been at. He says “Iran will not go to Russia as tourists”. We’ll have to wait and see about that but no-one is likely to thrash them, that’s for sure.

They kept 14 clean sheets in 18 qualifying games and won 12 of those, drawing the other six. So to go unbeaten in 18 outings deserves some respect even though the cynics may well argue they didn’t have much to beat.

There are no big stars to look out for either. A good thing in that it’s never a bad thing for the collective to be stronger than its individual parts but you have to wonder if they have what it takes to unlock an opposition defence when push comes to shove.

Morocco on the short side

Should Morocco be as short as 13/10 to win this game? I’m not so sure. It’s hard to argue that African qualifying isn’t tougher than the Asian one but football is rarely as simple as that. There’s little or no head-to-head record to go by (they’ve played only once and it ended in a draw as Opta point out) and though Morocco have the better known players, it may actually work in Iran’s advantage that video footage aside, no-one will know too much about them.

At 13/10 you need to be pretty sure this is a side you can rely on to handle the big occasions. And boy is this is a big occasion. Not only is it football’s blue riband event, it’s also the first group game.

So the favourite is no value bet for me but I can’t get particularly excited about the 8/13 on Iran/Draw on the Double Chance market, either. If you have to go for a bet of this nature (you don’t) then the draw at 2/1 is probably the better one of the lot.

Goals at a premium

So what sort of factors do you look out for when thinking a game might be low-scoring? First group game, some nerves, negative approach, two defensively minded-sides.

You could make a case for all of those coming into play here. Iran’s qualifying games had 1.2 goals per match, just 10% of them went over 2.5 goals and they kept a clean sheet in 9 of their 10 qualifiers as Opta tell us.

More yawn-inducing stats include the fact that Morocco didn’t concede a goal in a run of eight qualifiers.

Obvious as it may sound, if everything points to a low-scoring game then that’s exactly what we might just get here. Of course backing under 2.5 goals at 1.44 isn’t much fun but backing under 1.5 goals at 2.30 is a slightly more interesting wager and there’s not much out there to suggest it shouldn’t come good.

Same Game Multi

The Betfair Sportsbook allows customers to build their own accas from a range of markets. Just click on the Same Game Multi tab and choose a few selections. A low-scoring game with a low corner count would be my idea of a decent bet and under 1.5 goals coupled with under 10.5 corners will pay out at 3.30. If you don’t fancy that option go ahead and make up your own one.
Key Opta Stats for Morocco v Iran

Morocco and Iran have never met at the World Cup. In fact, they’ve faced each other only once previously, a game which ended in a draw. Another draw is 3.05.

Morocco have qualified for their fifth World Cup, their first since 1998. They have never progressed further than the round of 16 (1986), being eliminated in the group stages three times in their four previous appearances. They are rated as third favourites to qualify from Group B at 3.90.

Morocco have won only two of their 13 games at the World Cup (D4 L7), including five defeats in their last seven games (W1 D1). They’ve also never won an opening game in the competition (D2 L2). Iran are 1.74 in the Double Chance market.

Morocco were the only team not to concede a single goal in the third round of CAF qualifiers for Russia 2018 (6 games). Under 2.5 goals is 1.44.

Iran have qualified for the World Cup in back-to-back tournaments for the first time ever. However, they have never reached the knockout stages, winning only one of their 12 games (D3 L8) – against USA on 21 June 1998 (2-1). Iran are 1.78 to finish bottom of Group B.

Iran have also only kept one clean sheet in their 12 World Cup games (0-0 v Nigeria, June 2014). Over 2.5 goals is 3.20.

Iran were unbeaten in their qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup, winning 12 games and drawing the other six (AFC Second Round + Third Round). They also kept 14 clean sheets in those 18 games. The 0-0 draw is 6.40.

This is Hervé Renard’s first World Cup as manager. The Morocco boss is the only manager to win the African Cup of Nations with two different teams (Zambia, Ivory Coast). Morocco are 2.30 to get off to a flying start with a win.

Meanwhile, Carlos Queiroz is taking part in his third consecutive World Cup tournament as manager, and second in a row with Iran. Queiroz’s team are 7.40 to pull off a shock and qualify from Group B.

Egypt vs Uruguay

Egypt vs. Uruguay: Team News, Live Stream, TV Info for World Cup 2018

Following on from the competition curtain-raiser, Egypt and Uruguay will go head-to-head on Friday in what should be an intriguing second game of the FIFA World Cup.

The South American outfit are considered the strongest of the four sides in Group A and will be confident of their chances of progression if they can pick up three points here. All eyes will be on the strike duo of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, who can forge a devastating partnership.

As for Egypt, so much hinges on the form and fitness of Mohamed Salah, after his race against time to be fit for the tournament following his injury playing for Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid.

It should be a fascinating game between two sides with very different styles. Here’s how both teams could line up, all the key viewing details for the match and a preview of what’s to come at the Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

Date: Friday, June 15

Time: 1 p.m. (BST), 8 a.m. (ET)

TV Info: BBC One (UK), Fox Sports 1 (U.S.)

Live Stream: BBC website (UK), Fox Sports Go (U.S.)

Team News

Egypt: The big concern for Egypt manager Hector Cuper ahead of the competition has been the fitness of Salah, although he’s set to feature. On the other flank, there’s plenty of competition for places, with Trezeguet and Ramadan Sobhi jostling for a start.

Likely XI: Essam El-Hadary; Ahmed Fathi, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazi, Mohamed Abdel-Shafi; Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdallah El-Said, Mohamed Salah, Trezeguet; Marwan Mohsen

Uruguay: Oscar Tabarez has a number of surefire starters in his side in defence and up top. The big selection dilemmas come in midfield and on the flanks.

Likely XI: Fernando Muslera; Guillermo Varela, Jose Gimenez, Diego Godin, Martin Caceres; Lucas Torreira, Rodrigo Bentancur, Matias Vecino, Nahitan Nandez; Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani

While it’s anticipated Salah will play a role for Egypt at the World Cup, his compatriots will be hoping he can have the same impact he enjoyed for Liverpool last season.

In his first campaign at Anfield, the forward was sensational in a role on the right flank. Salah constantly tested defences with his pace and quick feet. He also showcased a newfound composure in front of goal, netting 43 times in all competitions for the Reds.

The Pharaohs’ reliance on Salah makes Uruguay favourites for Friday, though, and there’s a lot of intrigue about how Tabarez’s side will go about the game.

They finished second in their group behind Brazil in CONMEBOL qualification, and there have been some signs in recent matches that we may see a more enterprising La Celeste side. In Vecino, Bentancur and Torreira, Uruguay have stronger options than in recent years.

It’s up top where they are blessed with real strength, though, as Suarez and Cavani represent one of the most devastating partnerships in the competition.

As we can see here courtesy of BBC Sport, the duo have both enjoyed exceptional seasons in front of goal again:

Tabarez will surely have a plan for Salah, as he is comfortably Egypt’s biggest threat. The Liverpool man will know that if he can isolate the likes of Godin and Gimenez he has the pace to cause big issues.

However, Uruguay’s side is packed full of experience and class. There may be a few nerves from the Egypt players in their opening game, but their opponents have been there, done it and have enough to get off to a winning start.

Russia vs Saudi Arabia

World Cup 2018 opening ceremony live ahead of Russia vs Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium

The wait is finally over…the 2018 World Cup is HERE.

In the tournament opener, hosts Russia take on Saudi Arabia in Group A.

The last time Russia made it to the knockout stages of any tournament was Euro 2008, where they reached the semi-finals.

Head coach Stanislav Cherchesov is banking on a new generation of players, including CSKA Moscow playmaker Aleksandr Golovin, 22, to give the home crowd something to cheer about.

Their first challenge comes in the form of Saudi Arabia, the lowest-ranked qualifiers.

And they’ll surely fancy their chances. The Green Falcons’ preparations have been nothing short of shambolic, with two managers sacked before current boss Juan Antonio Pizzi, took over.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Live Updates Russia vs Saudi Arabia Live Streaming: FIFA World Cup Live 2018 begins from Thursday with the hosts Russia taking on Saudi Arabia. The two nations are the lowest ranked teams in the World Cup, with Russia recently slipping to 70th position in FIFA Rankings, while the minnows Saudi Arabia placed at the 67th position. Before the start of the match, the fans will witness an extravagant opening ceremony which will feature some of the biggest names in international music world along with legendary footballing stars. The hosts will be eager to kick off things in a winning fashion, especially with

FIFA World Cup 2018 LIVE: The four-year wait is finally over and the quest to be crowned world champion will start this evening with Russia and Saudi Arabia kicking off the tournament. The hosts will take on the green falcons at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow. The Stanislav Cherchesov men would like to keep the tradition going by winning the opening match as hosts. The Soviets have a clear gameplan and have benefited from a switch to a back three – a formation used majorly at the club level.

Aleksandr Golovin is a young attacking midfielder with a magic touch. He and Anton Miranchuk are the keys to unlocking the defence with their through balls and creating chances for their goal-machine Fedor Smolov. However, Russia will sorely miss the injured striker Aleksandr Kokorin and the wing-backs are arguably too old and as for the centre-backs, they are too young and inexperienced.

WATCH| FIFA World Cup 2018 Opening Ceremony Live Streaming in India

Talking about Saudi Arabia, the side from the gulf is an attacking side with three midfielders – Salem al-Dawsari, Yahya al-Shehri and Fahad al-Muwallad, who can test any defence in Russia. Coach Juan Antonio Pizzi is expected to play a 4-2-3-1 formation, with an experienced defence.

WATCH| Russia vs Saudi Arabia, FIFA World Cup 2018 Live Streaming in India

However, the problem is that the back four are susceptible to pace and rarely plays against the kind of top-calibre attackers you find at the World Cup.

RUSSIA

Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Gabulov (Brugge/BEL), Andrey Lunev (Zenit St Petersburg)

Defenders: Vladimir Granat (Rubin Kazan), Fyodor Kudryashov (Rubin Kazan), Ilya Kutepov (Spartak Moscow), Andrey Semyonov (Akhmat Grozny), Igor Smolnikov (Zenit St Petersburg), Mario Fernandes (CSKA Moscow), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow)

Midfielders: Yury Gazinsky (Krasnodar), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Alexander Golovin (CSKA Moscow), Alexander Erokhin (Zenit St Petersburg), Yury Zhirkov (Zenit St Petersburg), Daler Kuzyaev (Zenit St Petersburg), Roman Zobnin (Spartak Moscow, Alexander Samedov (Spartak Moscow), Anton Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Denis Cheryshev (Villarreal/ESP)

Forwards: Artem Dzyuba (Arsenal Tula), Alexei Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Fyodor Smolov (Krasnodar)

SAUDI ARABIA

Goalkeepers: Yasser al-Mosaileem (Al-Ahli), Abdullah al-Mayouf (Al-Hilal), Mohammed al-Owais (Al-Ahli)

Defenders: Mansour al-Harbi (Al-Ahli), Yasser al-Shahrani (Al-Hilal), Osama Hawsawi (Al-Hilal), Omar Hawsawi (Al-Nassr), Motaz Hawsawi (Al-Ahli), Ali al-Bulayhi (Al-Hilal), Mohammed al-Burayk (Al-Hilal)

Midfielders: Abdulla Otayf (Al-Hilal), Salman al-Faraj (Al-Hilal), Mohammed Kanno (Al-Hilal), Abdullah al-Khaibari (Al-Shabab), Hussein al-Moqahwi (Al-Ahli), Abdulmalik al-Khaibari (Al-Hilal), Hattan Bahebri (Al Shabab), Salem al-Dawsari (Al-Hilal), Taisir al-Jassim (Al-Ahli), Yahya al-Shehri (Al-Nassr), Fahad al-Muwallad (Al-Ittihad)

Russia vs Saudi Arabia

FIFA World Cup 2018: When and where to watch opening ceremony, Russia vs Saudi Arabia, coverage on TV and live streaming

The FIFA World Cup 2018 kicks off in Russia on Thursday as years of preparations dogged by diplomatic scandals give way to a month of action on the field in football’s global showpiece. The sport’s largest event will be preceded by an opening ceremony that is expected to spare no expense, with Russia and President Vladimir Putin eager to impress with the eyes of the world upon them.

Award-winning British pop star Robbie Williams is expected to perform alongside Russian soprano Aida Garifullina at the opening ceremony shortly before the opening match, with former Brazil striker and two-time World Cup winner Ronaldo Nazario de Lima — also known as O Fenomeno — taking part in the ceremony in an unspecified role. The official song of the World Cup is traditionally performed during the opening ceremony before the first match and this edition’s song is called Live It Up, featuring Will Smith, Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi.

Russia will get the ball rolling against Saudi Arabia at the completely refurbished 80,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow after the opening ceremony, in what will be the only match of the day. The tournament will begin in earnest on Friday, with a minimum of three matches to be played every day until the end of the group stage on 28 June. The round of 16 will commence on 30 June after 16 teams have been knocked out and will be followed by the quarter-finals and semi-finals, which will be wrapped up by 11 July.

The two finalists will square off in the final to be played on 15 July, a full month after the beginning of the competition. Click here to check the full schedule.

Here is all you need to know about when and where to watch the opening ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the Russia vs Saudi Arabia match:

When and where will the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony be held?

The 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony will be held on Thursday, 14 June at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The Russia vs Saudi Arabia match will be played at the same venue shortly after the opening ceremony.

How do I watch the opening ceremony and matches live?

The opening ceremony and matches will be telecast live on SONY TEN 2, SONY TEN 2 HD, SONY TEN 3 and SONY TEN 3 HD.

What time will the live coverage start?

The live coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony will start at 6.30 pm IST and the first match of the tournament will be played at 8.30 pm IST.

Where can I follow the match online?

The opening ceremony and the first match will be shown live on SONY LIV.

Click here for comprehensive coverage of FIFA World Cup 2018