The Russia World Cup 2018 is just hours away now. Here’s our guide on how to watch every second of the action – a feast of pretty much non-stop football.
Last December’s draw put England in Group G with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama and the good news is that all three of the games have been scheduled at sociable times. You can hear the sighs of relief from office bosses all around the country.
The full World Cup 2018 fixture schedule is included below, with timings, venues and TV channels included.
Thursday 14 June
Russia vs Saudi Arabia (Group A) – Moscow (Luzhniki) – 4pm – ITV
Friday 15 June
Egypt vs Uruguay (Group A) – Ekaterinburg – 1pm – BBC
Morocco vs Iran (Group B) – St Petersburg – 4pm – ITV
Portugal vs Spain (Group B) – Sochi – 7pm – BBC
Saturday 16 June
France vs Australia (Group C) – Kazan – 11am – BBC
Argentina vs Iceland (Group D) – Moscow (Spartak) – 2pm – ITV
Peru vs Denmark (Group C) – Saransk – 5pm – BBC
Croatia vs Nigeria (Group D) – Kaliningrad – 8pm – ITV
Sunday 17 June
Costa Rica vs Serbia (Group E) – Samara – 1pm – ITV
Germany vs Mexico (Group F) – Moscow (Luzhniki) – 4pm – BBC
Brazil vs Switzerland (Group E) – Rostov-on-Don – 7pm – ITV
Monday 18 June
Sweden vs South Korea (Group F) – Nizhny Novgorod – 1pm – ITV
Belgium vs Panama (Group G) – Sochi – 4pm – BBC
Tunisia vs England (Group G) – Volgograd – 7pm – BBC
Tuesday 19 June
Colombia vs Japan (Group H) – Saransk – 1pm – BBC
Poland vs Senegal (Group H) – Moscow (Spartak) – 4pm – ITV
Russia vs Egypt (Group A) – St Petersburg – 7pm – BBC
Wednesday 20 June
Portugal vs Morocco (Group B) – Moscow (Luzhniki) – 1pm – BBC
Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia (Group A) – Rostov-on-Don – 4pm – BBC
Iran vs Spain (Group B) – Kazan – 7pm – ITV
Thursday 21 June
Denmark vs Australia (Group C) – Samara – 1pm – ITV
France vs Peru (Group C) – Ekaterinburg – 4pm – ITV
Argentina vs Croatia (Group D) – Nizhny Novgorod – 7pm – BBC
Friday 22 June
Brazil vs Costa Rica (Group E) – St Petersburg – 1pm – ITV
Nigeria vs Iceland (Group D) – Volgograd – 4pm – BBC
Serbia vs Switzerland (Group E) – Kaliningrad – 7pm – BBC
Saturday 23 June
Belgium vs Tunisia (Group G) – Moscow (Spartak) – 1pm – BBC
South Korea vs Mexico (Group F) – Rostov-on-Don – 4pm – ITV
Germany v Sweden (Group F) – Sochi – 7pm – ITV
Sunday 24 June
England vs Panama (Group G) – Nizhny Novgorod – 1pm – BBC
Japan vs Senegal (Group H) – Ekaterinburg – 4pm – BBC
Poland vs Colombia (Group H) – Kazan – 7pm – ITV
Monday 25 June
Uruguay vs Russia (Group A) – Samara – 3pm – ITV
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt (Group A) – Volgograd – 3pm – ITV
Spain vs Morocco (Group B) – Kaliningrad – 7pm- BBC
Iran vs Portugal (Group B) – Saransk – 7pm – BBC
Tuesday 26 June
Denmark vs France (Group C) – Moscow (Luzhniki) – 3pm – ITV
Australia vs Peru (Group C) – Sochi – 3pm – ITV
Nigeria vs Argentina (Group D) – St Petersburg – 7pm – BBC
Iceland vs Croatia (Group D) – Rostov-on-Don – 7pm – BBC
Wednesday 27 June
South Korea vs Germany (Group F) – Kazan – 3pm – BBC
Mexico vs Sweden (Group F) – Ekaterinburg – 3pm – BBC
Serbia vs Brazil (Group E) – Moscow (Spartak) – 7pm – ITV
Switzerland vs Costa Rica (Group E) – Nizhny Novgorod – 7pm – ITV
Thursday 28 June
Japan vs Poland (Group H) – Volgograd – 3pm – BBC
Senegal vs Colombia (Group H) – Samara – 3pm – BBC
England vs Belgium (Group G) – Kaliningrad – 7pm – ITV
Panama vs Tunisia (Group G) – Saransk – 7pm – ITV
Round of 16
(Matches in bold are potential England fixtures)
Saturday 30 June
Group C winner vs Group D runner-up – Kazan, 3pm (Match 50)
Group A winner vs Group B runner-up- Sochi, 7pm (Match 49)
Sunday 1 July
Group B winner vs Group A runner-up- Moscow (Luzhniki), 3pm (Match 51)
Group D winner vs Group C runner-up – Nizhny Novgorod, 7pm (Match 52)
Monday 2 July
Group E winner vs Group F runner-up – Samara, 3pm (Match 53)
Group G winner vs Group H runner-up – Rostov-on-Don, 7pm (Match 54)
Tuesday 3 July
Group F winner vs Group E runner-up – St Petersburg 3pm (Match 55)
Group H winner vs Group G runner-up – Moscow (Spartak), 7pm (Match 56)
Friday 6 July
Winner match 49 vs Winner match 50 – Nizhny Novgorod, 3pm (Match 57)
Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 – Kazan, 7pm (Match 58)
Saturday 7 July
Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 – Samara, 3pm (Match 60)
Winner match 51 vs Winner match 52 – Sochi, 7pm (Match 59)
Tuesday 10 July
Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 – St Petersburg, 7pm (Match 61)
Wednesday 11 July
Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 – Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm (Match 62)
Third place play-off
Saturday 14 July
Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 – St Petersburg, 3pm
Sunday 15 July
Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm
JUST IN: Manchester United sack Jose Mourinho
Manchester United have announced the sack of manager, Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese was dismissed on Tuesday after a series of poor results.
Manchester United announced this on Twitter, saying, “Manchester United has announced that Jose Mourinho has left the Club.
“We would like to thank him for his work during his time at Manchester United and wish him success in the future.”
Super Eagles Draw Bafana Bafana, Qualifies For AFCON 2019
The Super Eagles of Nigeria, have qualified for the 2019 African Cup of Nations slated to hold in Cameroon.
The Nigerian side punched their qualifying ticket courtesy a one-all draw against perennial rivals South Africa at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on Saturday.
Al Nasr of Saudi Arabia star and the Nigerian Footballer of the Year, Ahmed Musa, led the former African champions along with Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho in the attack.
Gernot Rohr settled for Ikechukwu Ezenwa in goal
The goalkeeper got cover from Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Jamilu Collins and Kenneth Omeruo, while Oghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu, and Samuel Kalu took charge of Nigeria’s midfield.
An own goal by Buhle Mkhwanazi gifted the Nigerian side the opener after 10 minutes from kick off.
The South Africans rallied and were to level score through a tap-in by Lebo Mothiba in the 26th minute of the tie.
Nigeria leads the group with 10 points, while South Africa, Libya, and Seychelles are on nine, seven and one points respectively.
In the other group game, Libya drubbed Seychelles 8-1 in Victoria.
Nigeria Set To Lose Obafemi To Ireland
Michael Obafemi is in line to make his senior international bow at some stage on Thursday after making the final squad for the games against Northern Ireland and Denmark.
The Southampton striker has recently broken into the Saints’ matchday squad, with two appearances off the bench in the last few weeks, and has been rewarded with a first call-up.
Obafemi was born in Dublin and grew up in England, while he’s also eligible to play for Nigeria, but he seems to have expressed his preference to represent his country of birth.
And he may benefit from the ankle injury picked up by clubmate Shane Long as Ireland prepare to host Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland in a friendly on Thursday.
Liverpool youngster Caoimhin Kelleher could also feature for the first time as he was retained as one of three goalkeepers in the final squad.
Ireland manager Martin O’Neill confirmed that Glenn Whelan will captain the side on what is set to be his 85th and final appearance for his country.
The 34-year-old midfielder hasn’t formally announced his retirement but he hasn’t been called up since the World Cup play-off defeat to Denmark last November.
And the Aston Villa man will not travel on with the squad to Aarhus for the UEFA Nations League closer against the Danes on Sunday.
Robbie Brady also looks set to make his first international appearance since the Denmark play-offs after returning to action following a horrific leg break sustained in December.
Meanwhile, Ireland under-19 captain and Manchester United defender Lee O’Connor has been brought into the training squad but won’t be considered for selection.
Republic of Ireland squad to face Northern Ireland and Denmark:
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph, Colin Doyle, Caoimhin Kelleher.
Defenders: Seamus Coleman, Cyrus Christie, Matt Doherty, Richard Keogh, Shane Duffy, Kevin Long, John Egan, Darragh Lenihan, Lee O’Connor*, Enda Stevens.
Midfielders: Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick, Glenn Whelan, Conor Hourihane, Harry Arter, David Meyler, Shaun Williams, Alan Browne, Callum O’Dowda, James McClean.
Forwards: Scott Hogan, Sean Maguire, Callum Robinson, Aiden O’Brien, Ronan Curtis, Michael Obafemi.
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