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The 2018 FIFA World Cup™ at Russia is the 21st edition of the only most significant tournament for its single most important game on Earth, and also the first to be held in Eastern Europe.
Of the 32 teams, 20 will likely be making back-to-back looks after the previous championship in 2014, such as defending champions Germany, while Iceland and Panama are both making their first looks in a FIFA World Cup™. A total of 64 matches will be performed in 12 areas located in 11 cities.
Welcome to the Evening Standard’s LIVE news site of the World Cup 2018 at Russia.
We’ll provide you with rolling coverage each and every single day of the championship, together with James Olley, Simon Johnson, Dan Kilpatrick and Vaishali Bhardwaj reporting live in Russia.
The England team will venture out on Tuesday before the first game against Tunisia, on June 18.
Who’ll win the World Cup?
Hosts Russia will also be seeded, though they’re the championship’s lowest-placed group — 70th — at Fifa’s world rankings.
England, who have won just one of the previous eight World Cup games, are unseeded, since are 2010 winners Spain.
Germany have reached at least the semi-finals at each of the previous four variants of the contest and, after being the only team to advance throughout European qualifying with a 100 percent record, are predicted to maintain the shake-up again.
The closest England have come to repeating their accomplishment of 1966 is a semi-final look at Italia 90.
With a mean age of 26 decades and 18 days, the 3 Lions possess the third-youngest team in Russia.
Just three of Gareth Southgate’s 23 gamers are aged 30 or more — defenders Gary Cahill and Ashley Young, both 32, and 31-year-old ahead Jamie Vardy — while defender Trent Alexander-Arnold is the youngest at 19.
Cahill, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck and Phil Jones will be the sole survivors from the squad which finished bottom of the group in the 2014 World Cup beneath Roy Hodgson.
Following their opening match in Volgograd (16:00 BST), England confront World Cup debutants Panama at Nizhny Novgorod on 24 June (13:00 BST) before rounding off their Group G campaign in Kaliningrad against Belgium four times afterwards (19:00 BST).
Who will be the newest boys?
Panama and Iceland will be competing in their first World Cup, which will be held every four decades.
Having a population of about 335,000 individuals, Iceland would be the tiniest state ever to be eligible.
They’ll expect to replicate their exploits of 2 decades back, when they lit up Euro 2016 by hitting the quarter-finals within their first appearance at a major championship, humiliating England en route.
Iceland’s first match in Russia is against 2014 runners-up Argentina on 16 June.
A national holiday has been announced in Panama as soon as they qualified for the World Cup for the very first time.
The Central American nation, 55th at Fifa’s world rankings, boast a seasoned trainer in Hernan Dario Gomez, who had been responsible for his native Colombia in the 1998 World Cup and Ecuador in the 2002 version.
Referees for VAR aid
Video assistant referees (VAR) will probably be making a debut in the World Cup.
The tech will be used to assist officials avoid making possibly match-deciding mistakes in regards to such vital issues as awarding objects, penalties or red cards.
VAR was trialled in certain domestic English cup matches this year, also has been used in Germany and Italy.
“We wanted to provide the referees tools they can make much better choices, and at the World Cup some very significant decisions are made,” said Fifa president Gianni Infantino.
“It is not possible that in 2018 everybody in their living area understands a couple of moments after the play if or not a referee has made a error and the swimmer does not.”
VAR was used in the Club World Cup at December 2016, also trialled at the 2017 Confederations Cup.