World Cup 2018: TV Schedule, Live-Stream Info and Russia Tournament Preview

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJune 14, 2018

Argentina's Lionel Messi (R) celebrates after defeating Ecuador and qualifying to the 2018 World Cup football tournament, in Quito, on October 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Javier Cazar        (Photo credit should read JAVIER CAZAR/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP Contributor/Getty Images

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will raise its curtain on Thursday as the biggest tournament in sport makes its debut in Russia, where 32 teams from the international elite will duel for the right to be declared the best on the planet.

Over the course of the next month, 12 Russian venues will host 64 matches before one team is crowned king, but a raft of plausible challengers make their way to Eastern Europe with their eyes on the same prize.

Germany are defending champions and hope to become the first team to retain the World Cup since Brazil did in 1962, while the Selecao are seeking to extend their reach as the competition's most successful nation (five titles).

Picking a Group of Death for this World Cup has been a tough task, suggesting multiple groups are set to stage similarly close contests, and you won't want to miss a minute of the entertainment.

Read on for a complete television schedule ahead of this summer's World Cup, as well as a preview of the favourite travelling to Russia.

               

2018 World Cup TV Schedule (Group Stage)

Thursday, June 14

Russia vs. Saudi Arabia, 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET, ITV (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Friday, June 15

Egypt vs. Uruguay, 1 p.m. BST/8 a.m. ET, BBC (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Morocco vs. Iran, 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET, ITV (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Portugal vs. Spain, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET, BBC (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Saturday, June 16

France vs. Australia, 11 a.m. BST/6 a.m. ET, BBC (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Argentina vs. Iceland, 2 p.m. BST/9 a.m. ET, ITV (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Denmark vs. Peru, 5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET, BBC (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Croatia vs. Nigeria, 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET, ITV (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Sunday, June 17

Costa Rica vs. Serbia, 1 p.m. BST/8 a.m. ET,  ITV (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Germany vs. Mexico, 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ETBBC (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Brazil vs. Switzerland, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET, ITV (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Monday, June 18

Sweden vs. South Korea, 1 p.m. BST/8 a.m. ET, ITV (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Belgium vs. Panama, 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET, BBC (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Tunisia vs. England, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET, BBC (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Tuesday, June 19

Colombia vs. Japan, 1 p.m. BST/8 a.m. ET, BBC (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Poland vs. Senegal, 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET, ITV (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Russia vs. Egypt, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET, BBC (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Wednesday, June 20

Portugal vs. Morocco, 1 p.m. BST/8 a.m. ET, BBC (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia, 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET, BBC (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Iran vs. Spain, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET, ITV (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Thursday, June 21

France vs. Peru, 1 p.m. BST/8 a.m. ET, ITV (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Denmark vs. Australia, 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET, ITV (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Argentina vs. Croatia, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ETBBC (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Friday, June 22

Brazil vs. Costa Rica, 1 p.m. BST/8 a.m. ET, ITV (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Nigeria vs. Iceland, 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET, BBC (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Serbia vs. Switzerland, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET, BBC (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Saturday, June 23

Belgium vs. Tunisia, 1 p.m. BST/8 a.m. ET, BBC (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Germany vs. Sweden, 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET, ITV (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

South Korea vs. Mexico, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET, ITV (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Sunday, June 24

England vs. Panama, 1 p.m. BST/8 a.m. ET, BBC (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Japan vs. Senegal, 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET, BBC (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Poland vs. Colombia, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET, ITV (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Monday, June 25

Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET, ITV (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Uruguay vs. Russia, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET, ITV (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Iran vs. Portugal, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET, BBC (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Spain vs. Morocco, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET, BBC (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Tuesday, June 26

Denmark vs. France, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET, ITV (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Australia vs. Peru, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET, ITV (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Nigeria vs. Argentina, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ETBBC (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Croatia vs. Iceland, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ETBBC (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Wednesday, June 27

South Korea vs. Germany, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET, BBC (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Mexico vs. Sweden, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET, BBC (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Serbia vs. Brazil, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET, ITV (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Switzerland vs. Costa Rica, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET, ITV (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Thursday, June 28

Japan vs. Poland, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET, BBC (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Colombia vs. Senegal, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET, BBC (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Panama vs. Tunisia, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET, ITV (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

England vs. Belgium, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET, ITV (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

      

Round of 16

Saturday, June 30

Match 50: Group C winner vs. Group D runner-up, 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET, ITV (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Match 49: Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up, 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET, ITV (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Sunday, July 1

Match 51: Group B winner vs. Group A runner-up, BBC (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Match 52: Group D winner vs. Group C runner-up, ITV (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Monday, July 2

Match 53: Group E winner vs. Group F runner-up, BBC (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Match 54: Group G winner vs. Group H runner-up, BBC (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Tuesday, July 3

Match 55: Group F winner vs. Group E runner-upITV (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

Match 56: Group H winner vs. Group G runner-up, BBC (UK)/FS1 or Fox (U.S.)

      

Quarter-Finals

Friday, July 6

Match 57 (Match 49 winner vs. Match 50 winner), BBC (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Match 58 (Match 53 winner vs. Match 54 winner), BBC (UK)/FS1 (U.S.)

Saturday, July 7

Match 59 (Match 51 winner vs. Match 52 winner)ITV (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Match 60 (Match 55 winner vs. Match 66 winner)ITV (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

      

Semi-Finals

Tuesday, July 10

Match 61 (Match 57 winner vs. Match 58 winner)ITV (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Wednesday, July 11

Match 62 (Match 59 winner vs. Match 60 winner), BBC (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

    

Third-Place Play-Off

Saturday, July 14

Match 63 (Match 61 loser vs. Match 62 loser)ITV (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

    

Final

Sunday, July 15

Match 64 (Match 61 winner vs. Match 62 winner)ITV and BBC (UK)/Fox (U.S.)

Visit NBC Sports Live Extra or Fox Soccer Match Pass for live-stream services in the U.S., or ITV Hub and BBC iPlayer in the UK.

             

Preview

It's easy to see why, after beating some of the biggest teams in the world en route to the 2014 World Cup win and with fairly minimal change to Joachim Low's squad, Germany would again be fancied to do well in 2018.

UBS Bank even crunched the numbers from 10,000 simulation scenarios and asserted Die Mannschaft are the most likely to emerge atop the World Cup pile, almost five percentage points more probable than any other team:

But Germany were made to look human in the semi-finals of Euro 2016, when they lost 2-0 to France and were ejected from the last four, opening the forum to those challengers who would topple the No. 1-ranked outfit.

Group C favourites France boast a young squad with a selection of in-form assets like Antoine Griezmann, N'Golo Kante and Kylian Mbappe, while Brazil are always considered for the top prize at any World Cup.

Brazil manager Tite looks to have a harmonious atmosphere instilled among his troops, and two-time World Cup winner Ronaldo moved to put all the pressure on his countrymen to come out with the only prize that matters, via Goal:

It's true the Selecao have something to prove after the manner in which they exited the 2014 World Cup, following a 7-1 semi-final defeat at the hands of eventual winners Germany.

South American nemesis Argentina will also be one to watch, and broadcaster Bolarinwa Olajide highlighted the attacking threat they pose as Lionel Messi, who will be 34 at the next World Cup, could make his last appearance in the tournament:

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo will be 37 by the time Qatar 2022 rolls around and looks even more likely to make his World Cup farewell this summer with one final attempt at the crown that has eluded him.

His side have a favourable draw in that the teams that advance from their pool in Group B—which also contains Spain, Morocco and Iran—will take on whoever progresses from a weak-looking Group A.

But the draw heats up from there as the wheat sorts itself from the chaff, and even the mercurial Ronaldo, who helped propel Portugal to the 2016 European Championship, may not have the firepower to push past that point.

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