June 14, 2018 10:31 am

FIFA World Cup 2018: From schedule to team favourites, here’s what to know

A man wearing a Russian national soccer team jersey performs with a ball on the eve of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, in central Moscow, Russia, on June 14, 2018.

REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off Thursday in Russia, and the month-long tournament will see 32 soccer teams battling it out for the cup. Unfortunately, Canada did not make the cut.

The World Cup, which is the biggest single sporting event in the world, comes once every four years, and it’s the first time Europe will host the game since 2006 in Germany.

READ MORE: Psychic cat picks winner of FIFA 2018 World Cup opener

The opening day only has one game, but the host Russia will be taking the field against Saudi Arabia in Moscow at 11 a.m. ET. The tournament ends on July 15.

Here are key things to know about the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

WATCH: Fears of hooliganism before FIFA World Cup in Russia


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What teams are playing in the World Cup?

There are 32 teams playing in the World Cup.

Group A
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Egypt
Uruguay

Group B
Portugal
Spain
Morocco
Iran

Group C
France
Australia
Peru
Denmark

Group D
Argentina
Iceland
Croatia
Nigeria

Group E
Brazil
Switzerland
Costa Rica
Serbia

Group F
Germany
Mexico
Sweden
South Korea

Group G
Belgium
Panama
Tunisia
England

Group H 
Poland
Senegal
Colombia
Japan

What is the World Cup schedule?

Thursday, June 14

Russia vs. Saudi Arabia: 11 a.m. ET

Friday, June 15

Egypt vs. Uruguay: 8 a.m. ET

Morocco vs. Iran: 11 a.m. ET

Portugal vs. Spain: 2 p.m. ET

Saturday, June 16

France vs. Australia: 6 a.m. ET

Argentina vs. Iceland: 10 a.m. ET

Peru vs. Denmark: 12 p.m. ET

Croatia vs. Nigeria: 3 p.m. ET

Sunday, June 17

Costa Rica vs. Serbia: 8 a.m. ET

Germany vs. Mexico: 11 a.m. ET

Brazil vs. Switzerland: 2 p.m. ET

Monday, June 18 

Sweden vs. South Korea: 8 a.m. ET

Belgium vs. Panama: 11 a.m. ET

Tunisia vs. England: 2 p.m. ET

Tuesday, June 19

Poland vs. Senegal: 8 a.m. ET

Colombia vs. Japan: 11 a.m. ET

Russia vs. Egypt: 2 p.m. ET

Wednesday, June 20 

Portugal vs. Morocco: 8 a.m. ET

Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia: 11 a.m. ET

Iran vs. Spain: 2 p.m. ET

Thursday, June 21 

France vs. Peru: 8 a.m. ET

Denmark vs. Australia: 11 a.m. ET

Argentina vs. Croatia: 2 p.m. ET

Friday, June 22

Brazil vs. Costa Rica: 8 a.m. ET

Nigeria vs. Iceland: 11 a.m. ET

Serbia vs. Switzerland: 2 p.m. ET

Saturday, June 23 

Belgium vs. Tunisia: 8 a.m. ET

Germany vs. Sweden: 11 a.m. ET

South Korea vs. Mexico: 2 p.m. ET

Sunday, June 24

England vs. Panama: 8 a.m. ET

Japan vs. Senegal: 11 a.m. ET

Poland vs. Colombia: 2 p.m. ET

Monday, June 25 

Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt: 10 a.m. ET

Uruguay vs. Russia: 10 a.m. ET

Iran vs. Portugal: 2 p.m. ET

Spain vs. Morocco: 2 p.m. ET

Tuesday, June 26

Australia vs. Peru: 10 a.m. ET

Denmark vs. France: 10 a.m. ET

Iceland vs. Croatia: 2 p.m. ET

Nigeria vs. Argentina: 2 p.m. ET

Wednesday, June 27 

South Korea vs. Germany: 10 a.m. ET

Mexico vs. Sweden: 10 a.m. ET

Switzerland vs. Costa Rica: 2 p.m. ET

Serbia vs. Brazil: 2 p.m. ET

Thursday, June 28 

Japan vs. Poland: 10 a.m. ET

Senegal vs. Colombia: 10 a.m. ET

England vs. Belgium: 2 p.m. ET

Panama vs. Tunisia: 2 p.m. ET

After this, the knockout stage begins and the last 16 matches will begin on Saturday, June 30. For a full list of the schedule, click here.

When is the World Cup final?

The final match takes place Sunday, July 15, at 4 p.m. ET at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

READ MORE: World Cup 2018 — scalpers still selling tickets despite crackdown in Russia

Where are the games taking place in Russia?

There are 12 venues in 11 cities across Russia. Of the 12 stadiums built or renovated for the World Cup, Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and the Saint Petersburg Stadium will be used the most.

What happened during the last World Cup again?

Germany beat Argentina 1-0 in the final in Rio de Janeiro.

WATCH: Germany wins 2014 World Cup 1-0

Who are the team favourites?

Germany, Brazil, Spain, France, Argentina, Portugal and Belgium are some of the teams predicted to dominate the tournament. However, there are some popular underdogs during this cup, such as Iceland and Peru.

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