Follow along for live updates and highlights of goals and key plays, as host Russia opens the 2018 World Cup against Saudi Arabia in Moscow.
The World Cup is here at last.
Host Russia opens the 2018 competition against Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Thursday, in a meeting between the two lowest-ranked teams in the field.
The draw did 70th-ranked Russia a favor, putting 67th-ranked Saudi Arabia is the first opponent in a group that also features Uruguay and Egypt. Given the increasing difficulty in each match for the Russians, they’ll be looking to open with a three-point haul as they look to avoid joining South Africa (2010) as the only host nation to not escape the group stage.
Saudi Arabia will be looking for an equally positive start as well, with ex-Chile manager Juan Antonio Pizzi, who took charge days before the World Cup draw, leading the Asian nation into a difficult circumstance–being the hosts’s first opponent.
Stay tuned here for live updates and highlights of goals and key plays from throughout the match (refresh for most recent updates):
Here are the lineups for both sides:
Here are the rosters for both nations:
Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Gabulov (Brugge), Andrei Lunyov (Zenit St. Petersburg)
Defenders: Mario Fernandes (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Granat (Rubin Kazan), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Fyodor Kudryashov (Rubin Kazan), Ilya Kutepov (Spartak Moscow), Andrei Semyonov (Akhmat Grozny), Igor Smolnikov (Zenit St. Petersburg)
Midfielders: Denis Cheryshev (Villarreal), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Yuri Gazinsky (FC Krasnodar), Alexander Golovin (CSKA Moscow), Daler Kuzyaev (Zenit St. Petersburg), Anton Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Alexander Samedov (Spartak Moscow), Alexander Yerokhin (Zenit St. Petersburg), Yuri Zhirkov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Roman Zobnin (Spartak Moscow)
Forwards: Artyom Dzyuba (Arsenal Tula), Alexei Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Fyodor Smolov (FC Krasnodar)
Manager: Stanislav Cherchesov
Goalkeepers: Mohammed Al-Owais (Al Ahli), Yasser Al Mosailem (Al Ahli), Abdullah Al-Mayouf (Al Hilal)
Defenders: Mansoor Al-Harbi (Al Ahli), Yasser Al-Shahrani (Al Hilal) Mohammed Al-Breik (Al HIlal), Motaz Hawsawi (Al Ahli), Osama Hawsawi (Al Hilal), Omar Hawsawi (Al Nassr), Ali Al-Bulaihi (Al Hilal)
Midfielders: Abdullah Al-Khaibari (Al Shabab), Abdulmalek Al-Khaibri (Al Hilal), Abdullah Otayf (Al Hilal), Taiseer Al-Jassim (Al Ahli), Houssain Al-Mogahwi (Al Ahli), Salman Al-Faraj (Al Hilal), Mohamed Kanno (Al Hilal), Hattan Bahebri (Al Shabab), Salem Al-Dawsari (Al Hilal), Yahya Al-Shehri (Al Nassr)
Forwards: Fahad Al-Muwallad (Al Ittihad), Mohammad Al-Sahlawi (Al Nassr), Muhannad Assiri (Al Ahli)
Manager: Juan Antonio Pizzi