We’ve got all you need to know about Russia 2018, including the group draw, fixtures, kick-off times.
World Cup finals draw
World Cup: Tournament fixtures & kick-off times
The finals will begin on Thursday June 14, with the hosts meeting Saudi Arabia in the opening game. The final is set for Sunday July 15.
Both the opener and the final will take place at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, which has just been refurbished and its capacity increased to 81,000. It is one of two venues in the capital, the other being Spartak Moscow’s Otkrytiye Arena which will be known as Spartak Stadium during the tournament.
The Luzhniki, which played host to the 2008 Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea, will also stage one of the semi-finals with the other in St Petersburg – the only other ground with a capacity of more than 50,000.
There are 12 stadia being used in total, the others being in Ekaterinburg, Kaliningrad – part of a Russian exclave situated between Poland and Lithuania – Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saransk, Sochi and Volgograd.
England’s group games are in Volgograd (45,000 capacity), Nizhny Novgorod (45,000) and Kaliningrad (35,212). The latter is the smallest of the 12 venues – bad news for fans hoping to get their hands on tickets to see them play Belgium (more details on tickets can be found below).
While the qualifiers will not have to head to the far east of the country, the venues are still scattered across four different time zones. That has resulted in matches being given a variety of different kick-off times, the earliest of which will be 1100 BST and the latest 2000 BST. The most popular kick-off time is 1900 BST (25 of the 64 games will start then), but the final is scheduled for 1600 BST. Other matches will start at 1300, 1400, 1500 or 1700 BST.
Saturday June 16 looks one for the diary – there will be four games that day, kicking off at 1100, 1400, 1700 & 2000 BST. An 11-hour feast of football!
All the games will be televised live in the UK by either BBC or ITV – which is indicated in the full fixture list below.
- Russia v Saudi Arabia – Thu Jun 14, 1600 BST, Moscow (Luzhniki) (ITV)
- Egypt v Uruguay – Fri Jun 15, 1300 BST, Ekaterinburg (BBC)
- Russia v Egypt – Tue Jun 19, 1900 BST, St Petersburg (BBC)
- Uruguay v Saudi Arabia – Wed Jun 20, 1600 BST, Rostov-on-Don (BBC)
- Uruguay v Russia – Mon Jun 25, 1500 BST, Samara (ITV)
- Saudi Arabia v Egypt – Mon Jun 25, 1500 BST, Volgograd (ITV)
- Morocco v Iran – Fri Jun 15, 1600 BST, St Petersburg (ITV)
- Portugal v Spain – Fri Jun 15, 1900 BST, Sochi (BBC)
- Portugal v Morocco – Wed Jun 20, 1300 BST, Moscow (Luzhniki) (BBC)
- Iran v Spain – Wed Jun 20, 1900 BST, Kazan (ITV)
- Iran v Portugal – Mon Jun 25, 1900 BST, Saransk (BBC)
- Spain v Morocco – Mon Jun 25, 1900 BST, Kaliningrad (BBC)
- France v Australia – Sat Jun 16, 1100 BST, Kazan (BBC)
- Peru v Denmark – Sat Jun 16, 1700 BST, Saransk (BBC)
- Denmark v Australia – Thu Jun 21, 1300 BST, Samara (ITV)
- France v Peru – Thu Jun 21, 1600 BST, Ekaterinburg (ITV)
- Denmark v France – Tue Jun 26, 1500 BST, Moscow (Luzhniki) (ITV)
- Australia v Peru – Tue Jun 26, 1500 BST, Sochi (ITV)
- Argentina v Iceland – Sat Jun 16, 1400 BST, Moscow (Spartak) (ITV)
- Croatia v Nigeria – Sat Jun 16, 2000 BST, Kaliningrad (BBC)
- Argentina v Croatia – Thu Jun 21, 1900 BST, Nizhny Novgorod (BBC)
- Nigeria v Iceland – Fri Jun 22, 1600 BST, Volgograd (BBC)
- Nigeria v Argentina – Tue Jun 26, 1900 BST, St Petersburg (BBC)
- Iceland v Croatia – Tue Jun 26, 1900 BST, Rostov-on-Don (BBC)
- Costa Rica v Serbia – Sun Jun 17, 1300 BST, Samara (ITV)
- Brazil v Switzerland – Sun Jun 17, 1900 BST, Rostov-on-Don (ITV)
- Brazil v Costa Rica – Fri Jun 22, 1300 BST, St Petersburg (ITV)
- Serbia v Switzerland – Fri Jun 22, 1900 BST, Kaliningrad (BBC)
- Serbia v Brazil – Wed Jun 27, 1900 BST, Moscow (Spartak) (ITV)
- Switzerland v Costa Rica – Wed Jun 27, 1900 BST, Nizhny Novgorod (ITV)
- Germany v Mexico – Sun Jun 17, 1600 BST, Moscow (Luzhniki) (BBC)
- Sweden v South Korea – Mon Jun 18, 1300 BST, Nizhny Novgorod (ITV)
- South Korea v Mexico – Sat Jun 23, 1600 BST, Rostov-on-Don (ITV)
- Germany v Sweden – Sat Jun 23, 1900 BST, Sochi (ITV)
- South Korea v Germany – Wed Jun 27, 1500 BST, Kazan (BBC)
- Mexico v Sweden – Wed Jun 27, 1500 BST, Ekaterinburg (BBC)
- Belgium v Panama – Mon Jun 18, 1600 BST, Sochi (BBC)
- Tunisia v England – Mon Jun 18, 1900 BST, Volgograd (BBC)
- Belgium v Tunisia – Sat Jun 23, 1300 BST, Moscow (Spartak) (BBC)
- England v Panama – Sun Jun 24, 1300 BST, Nizhny Novgorod (BBC)
- England v Belgium – Thu Jun 28, 1900 BST, Kaliningrad (ITV)
- Panama v Tunisia – Thu Jun 28, 1900 BST, Saransk (ITV)
- Poland v Senegal – Tue Jun 19, 1600 BST, Moscow (Spartak) (ITV)
- Colombia v Japan – Tue Jun 19, 1300 BST, Saransk (BBC)
- Japan v Senegal – Sun Jun 24, 1600 BST, Ekaterinburg (BBC)
- Poland v Colombia – Sun Jun 24, 1900 BST, Kazan (ITV)
- Japan v Poland – Thu Jun 28, 1500 BST, Volgograd (BBC)
- Senegal v Colombia – Thu Jun 28, 1500 BST, Samara (BBC)
Last 16 (in bracket order)
- A Winner v B Runner-up (Match 49) – Sat Jun 30, 1900 BST, Sochi
- C Winner v D Runner-up (Match 50) – Sat Jun 30, 1500 BST, Kazan
- E Winner v F Runner-up (Match 53) – Mon Jul 2, 1500 BST, Samara
- G Winner v H Runner-up (Match 54) – Mon Jul 2, 1900 BST, Rostov-on-Don
- B Winner v A Runner-up (Match 51) – Sun Jul 1, 1500 BST, Moscow (Luzhniki)
- D Winner v C Runner-up (Match 52) – Sun Jul 1, 1900 BST, Nizhny Novgorod
- F Winner v E Runner-up (Match 55) – Tue Jul 3, 1500 BST, St Petersburg
- H Winner v G Runner-up (Match 56) – Tue Jul 3, 1900 BST, Moscow (Spartak)
Quarter-finals (in bracket order)
- Winner M49 v Winner M50 (Match 57) – Fri Jul 6, 1500 BST, Nizhny Novgorod
- Winner M53 v Winner M54 (Match 58) – Fri Jul 6, 1900 BST, Kazan
- Winner M51 v Winner M52 (Match 59) – Sat Jul 7, 1900 BST, Sochi
- Winner M55 v Winner M56 (Match 60) – Sat Jul 7, 1500 BST, Samara
- Winner M57 v Winner M58 – Tue Jul 10, 1900 BST, St Petersburg
- Winner M59 v Winner M60 – Wed Jul 11, 1900 BST, Moscow (Luzhniki)
- Loser SF1 v Loser SF2 – Sat Jul 14, 1500 BST, St Petersburg
- Winner SF1 v Winner SF2 – Sun Jul 15, 1600 BST, Moscow (Luzhniki)
World Cup tickets: Are they on sale & how do I buy them?
A total of 742,760 tickets have already been allocated to those who applied in phase one of the sale.
Ticket sales will reopen on December 5. This phase will last until January 31. A ballot will take place after that, if demand outstrips supply, as is expected for many games.
The cheapest ticket – for a group-stage match – is US$105 (£79 at current exchange rates). The most expensive seat at the final will cost an eye-watering $1,100 (£828).
Full details can be found on the official FIFA website where ticket applications can be made.
For those with a ticket, Russia will allow visa-free access to the country. Those planning to travel without a ticket will still require a visa though.
World Cup warm-up games: What’s next?
England began their preparation for the World Cup with November draws against much-fancied Germany and Brazil but the next international window in March will see meetings with two teams who failed to qualify for the finals.
The Three Lions will play the Netherlands in Amsterdam on March 23 and Italy at Wembley four days later.
Then there will be end-of-season World Cup warm-up games, the first of which is likely to be staged a few days after the Champions League final which takes place on May 26.
World Cup mascot: It’s a wolf but what is its name?
No World Cup is complete without a mascot and 2018’s will be Zabivaka the wolf, selected from a choice of three (ahead of a tiger and a cat) by the Russian public.