The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off tomorrow with the hosts Russia opening their Group A journey against Saudi Arabia. The hosts will look to start off the tournament with a win. No host nation has ever lost their World Cup opener, going 15-0-6 so far. Russia will look to get off on the right start against Saudi Arabia.
What to watch for
Can Russia handle the pressure of being the hosts? This will be the ultimate question as they look to bring fireworks to a match that on paper have none outside of it being the tournament opener. Saudi Arabia will be looking to play the role of spoilers, but all the pressure will be on Russia’s players. Can they perform in front of a sold out Moscow crowd, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, and with the eyes of the entire world upon them? It remains to be seen.
Will Saudi Arabia be able to use some speed? Saudi Arabia got to Russia on the back of some speed on counter attacks. Russia doesn’t play with speed, so can the Saudis use that to their advantage?
Who will break through first? This is a match where nerves really dominate the first 30 minutes. Who can strike first? Who will be the name that goes down in history for scoring the first goal of the 2018 FIFA World Cup?
How to watch
Location: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Kick-off time: 11:00am Eastern, 8:00am Pacific
Available TV: Fox (English), Telemundo (Spanish)