Monday 25 June 2018

Belgium BEL 5

Tunisia TUN 2

REPORT

South Korea KOR 1

Mexico MEX 2

REPORT

Germany GER 2

Sweden SWE 1

REPORT

England ENG 6

Panama PAN 1

REPORT

Japan JPN 2

Senegal SEN 2

REPORT

Poland POL 0

Colombia COL 3

REPORT

Saudi Arabia SAU

Egypt EGY

Uruguay URY

Russia RUS

Spain ESP

Morocco MAR

Iran IRN

Portugal POR

Denmark DNK

France FRA

Australia AUS

Peru PER

Iceland ISL

Croatia CRO

Nigeria NGA

Argentina ARG

Mexico MEX

Sweden SWE

South Korea KOR

Germany GER

Switzerland SUI

Costa Rica CRI

Serbia SRB

Brazil BRA

Senegal SEN

Colombia COL

Japan JPN

Poland POL

Panama PAN

Tunisia TUN

England ENG

Belgium BEL

Will Friday be fantastic on World Cup day two?

What to watch for on Friday.

Fernando Hierro, left, will take charge of Spain’s opening match after replacing Julen Lopetegui on Wednesday (Nick Potts/PA)
Fernando Hierro, left, will take charge of Spain’s opening match after replacing Julen Lopetegui on Wednesday (Nick Potts/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

Hosts Russia will launch the 2018 World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Thursday with the tournament’s opening match against Group A rivals Saudi Arabia.

Here, Press Association Sport highlights what to look out for on Friday.

Portugal v Spain, Group B match, 7pm

Spain’s preparations were thrown into chaos when they sacked head coach Julen Lopetegui on Wednesday and placed Fernando Hierro in charge.

The 2010 World Cup winners must put their off-field troubles behind them if they are to make a winning start against the reigning European champions.

Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal team-mates will be ready to take full advantage if Spain’s world-class stars have lost their focus.

Egypt v Uruguay, Group A, 1pm

Russia’s group rivals Egypt and Uruguay start their World Cup campaigns in Friday’s early kick-off at the Ekaterinburg Stadium.

Egypt’s hopes rest heavily on the shoulders of Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah, who has been announced as fit to start after recovering from the shoulder injury he suffered in last month’s Champions League final.

Two more of the world’s best strikers, Barcelona’s Luis Suarez and Paris St Germain’s Edinson Cavani, are short odds to make goalscoring starts for Uruguay.

Morocco v Iran, Group B, 4pm

Iran are expected to be backed by a large following of fans when the two minnows complete the opening round of matches in Group B.

It will be the first meeting between the two nations, who are both appearing in their fifth World Cup, and is likely to be a tight affair.

Morocco qualified unbeaten and did not concede a goal in six matches, while Iran also finished top of their qualifying group and were undefeated in 10.

Media focuses on ‘big guns’

France and Argentina, among the favourites to lift the trophy, will hold their final media conferences before their opening games on Saturday against Australia and Iceland respectively.

Didier Deschamps will provide the latest update on Kylian Mbappe’s ankle injury and his team’s preparations from the Kazan Arena at 1.15pm.

Argentina counterpart Jorge Sampaoli will preview his team’s opening match from the Spartak Stadium at 7pm.

Also in the spotlight…

Australia (3pm) and Iceland (1.15pm) will also hold their final media briefings, as will Group C rivals Peru (11.15am) and Denmark (5pm), who face off in Saransk on Saturday.

Group C pair Croatia (7pm) and Nigeria (5pm) will also be staging media conferences ahead of their opening match in Kaliningrad on Saturday.

Press Association

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