Finally, the tensions, emotions and nerves are getting higher by the minute as the football fraternity world over gets ready for the 2018 FIFA World Cup kick-off in Russia on Thursday.
The hosts Russia face off with Saudi Arabia in the opening match at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. Egypt and Uruguay are the other two teams in Group A.
The 21st edition of football’s biggest competition will feature 32 teams, playing 64 games in a period of 32 days. The games will be played in 12 stadiums across 11 cities that are spread over 1,800milies.
Eight groups with four teams each and the top two of which will advance to the round of 16. The final will be played on Sunday, July 15th Luzhniki Stadium in Russia’s capital Moscow.
Five-time champions Brazil are among the favorites to win the world showpiece. Reigning champions Germany will be looking forward to defending the title for the first time since Brazil in 1962 (having won it in 1958) while European champions Portugal are also considered as major contenders.
2014 losing finalist of Argentina, Belgium and 1998 champions France are some of the other key contenders.
The VAR (Video Assistant Referee) system will be used at the world cup.
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