With only two days to go for one of the world's greatest sporting events — Fifa World Cup, football frenzy is gripping the globe.

Hosts Russia will kickstart the quadrennial global spectacle against higher-ranked Asian side Saudi Arabia in their Group A fixture at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow where the final will also be held.

Former champions Spain and reigning European champions Portugal will go head-to-head as early as on the second day (June 15) of the tournament in Sochi while one of the tournament favourites, France, and Argentina will begin their campaigns on Saturday, June 16.

Defending champions Germany will face Mexico in Moscow in their tournament opener while Brazil, who were the first team after the hosts to qualify for the World Cup finals, open their campaign against Switzerland in Rostov-on-Don on the first Sunday of the tournament.

Fifa World Cup 2018 - Tournament format

Fifa World Cup official mascot
File photo of Fifa World Cup 2018 official mascot, Zabivaka.SAEED KHAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Thirty-two teams, drawn into eight groups of four each, will battle for the coveted title between June 14 and July 15 in Russia, across 12 venues and 11 cities.

The group stage of the World Cup will see each team taking on three other teams in their group in a round-robin format. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Round of 16 stage, starting June 30.

If two or more teams are tied on points at the end of the group stage, the rankings are determined based on 1: goal difference in the group matches between the teams concerned, 2: goals scored in group matches between the teams concerned.


  1. Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
  2. Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
  3. Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
  4. Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
  5. Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
  6. Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, Korea Republic
  7. Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
  8. Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan.


  1. Moscow: Luzhniki Stadium
  2. Moscow: Spartak Stadium
  3. Samara: Samara Arena
  4. Nizhny Novgorod: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
  5. Volgograd: Volgograd Arena
  6. Ekaterinburg: Ekaterinburg Arena
  7. Saransk: Mordovia Arena
  8. Rostov-on-Don: Rostov Arena
  9. Kaliningrad: Kaliningrad Stadium
  10. Kazan: Kazan Arena
  11. Sochi: Fisht Stadium
  12. St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg Stadium

Full schedule: Fifa World Cup 2018

(Note: Spartak Stadium matches are marked as Moscow*)

Group Phase

Date Match Time City
Thursday, June 14 Russia vs Saudi Arabia 8:30 pm IST Moscow
Friday, June 15 Egypt vs Uruguay 5:30 pm IST Ekaterinburg
" Morocco vs Iran 8:30 pm IST St. Petersburg
" Portugal vs Spain 11:30 pm IST Sochi
Saturday, June 16 France vs Australia 3:30 pm IST Kazan
" Argentina vs Iceland 6:30 pm IST Moscow*
" Peru vs Denmark 9:30 pm IST Saransk
Sunday, June 17 Croatia vs Nigeria 12:30 am IST Kaliningrad
" Costa Rica vs Serbia 5:30 pm IST Samara
" Germany vs Mexico 8:30 pm IST Moscow
" Brazil vs Switzerland 11:30 pm IST Rostov-On-Don
Monday, June 18 Sweden vs Korea Republic 5:30 pm IST Nizhny Novgorod
" Belgium vs Panama 8:30 pm IST Sochi
" Tunisia vs England 11:30 pm IST Volgograd
Tuesday, June 19 Colombia vs Japan 5:30 pm IST Saransk
" Poland vs Senegal 8:30 pm IST Moscow*
" Russia vs Egypt 11:30 pm IST St. Petersberg
Wednesday, June 20 Portugal vs Morocco 5:30 pm IST Moscow
" Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia 8:30 pm IST Rostov-On-Don
" Iran vs Spain 11:30 pm IST Kazan
Thursday, June 21 Denmark vs Australia 5:30 pm IST Samara
" France vs Peru 8:30 pm IST Ekaterinburg
" Argentina vs Croatia 11:30 pm IST Nizhny Novgorod
Friday, June 22 Brazil vs Costa Rica 5:30 pm IST St. Petersberg
" Nigeria vs Iceland 8:30 pm IST Volgograd
" Serbia vs Switzerland 11:30 pm IST Kaliningrad
Saturday, June 23 Belgium vs Tunisia 5:30 pm IST Moscow*
" Korea Republic vs Mexico 8:30 pm IST Rostov-On-Don
" Germany vs Sweden 11:30 pm IST Sochi
Sunday, June 24 England vs Panama 5:30 pm IST Nizhny Novgorod
" Japan vs Senegal 8:30 pm IST Ekaterinburg
" Poland vs Colombia 11:30 pm IST Kazan
Monday, June 25 Uruguay vs Russia 7:30 pm IST Samara
" Saudi Arabia v Egypt 7:30 pm IST Volgograd
" Spain vs Morocco 11:30 pm IST Kaliningrad
" Iran vs Portugal 11:30 pm IST Saransk
Tuesday, June 26 Australia vs Peru 7:30 pm IST Scochi
" Denmark vs France 7:30 pm IST Moscow
" Nigeria vs Argentina 11:30 pm IST St. Petersberg
" Iceland vs Croatia 11:30 pm IST Rostov-On-Don
Wednesday, June 27 Korea Republic vs Germany 7:30 pm IST Kazan
" Mexico vs Sweden 7:30 pm IST Ekaterinburg
" Serbia vs Brazil 11:30 pm IST Moscow*
" Switzerland vs Costa Rica 11:30 pm IST Nizhny Novgorod
Thursday, June 28 Japan vs Poland 7:30 pm IST Volgograd
" Senegal vs Colombia 7:30 pm IST Samara
" Panama vs Tunisia 11:30 pm IST Saransk
" England vs Belgium 11:30 pm IST Kaliningrad

Knockout Phase

Round of 16

R 16 - 1C vs 2D Saturday, June 30 7:30 pm IST Kazan
R 16 - IA vs 2B Saturday, June 30 11:30 pm IST Sochi
R16 - 1B vs 2A Sunday, July 1 7:30 pm IST Moscow
R16 - 1D vs 2C Sunday, July 1 11:30 pm IST Nizhny Novgorod
R16 1E vs 2F Monday, July 2 7:30 pm IST Samara
R16 1G vs 2H Monday, July 2 11:30 pm IST Rostov-On-Don
R16 1F vs 2E Tuesday, July 3 7:30 pm IST St. Petersberg
R16 1H vs 2G Tuesday, July 3 11:30 pm IST Moscow


QF 1 Friday, July 6 7:30 pm IST Nizhny Novgorod
QF 2 Friday, July 6 11:30 pm IST Kazan
QF 3 Saturday, July 7 7:30 pm IST Samara
QF 4 Saturday, July 7 11:30 pm IST Sochi


SF 1 Tuesday, July 10 11:30 pm IST St.Petersburg
SF 2 Wednesday, July 11 11:30 pm IST Moscow

Final and third-place playoff

Third-place playoff Saturday, July 14 7:30 pm IST St.Petersburg
Final Sunday, July 15 8:30 pm IST Moscow