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Russia prepares for FIFA World Cup 2018

The fever is building and Aussies are putting aside their online Vegas games for Australians as the world prepares to join together for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The World Cup brings the world’s top footballers together to compete for the ultimate prize.

This year Russia is hosting the World Cup. The country has built stadiums around the country to give visitors a chance to experience Russian culture and hospitality as they attend the games.

The preparations are almost done and Russia will have its chance to shine over the next few months as hundreds of millions of eyes from around the world watch to see how the country manages the organization, security and excitement of the upcoming matches.

World Cup

The World Cup is the culmination of years  of qualifying matches. 210 FIFA teams belonging to the six FIFA Confederations played in the qualifying matches and 31 teams were chosen – the 32nd being the Russian team which is automatically eligible thanks to its position as the team representing the host country.

The qualification process began in March 2015. The six FIFA Confederations – Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and North and Central America, South America and Oceania – sent a total of 210 teams for these qualifying matches. Throughout the months the list was finalized, resulting in Russia plus 32 other teams which included

A draw has determined which teams will compete in the preliminary stage of the tournament as well as where they will play. As the matches continue over the course of the next few months the winners of the various matches will go on to play each other until the last two teams vie for the World Cup in the final match. The total number of matches that will be played in Russia is 64.

Russian Arenas

Russia has prepared twelve arenas for the World Cup tournaments. These include the Fisht Stadium in Sochi and the Spartak Stadium in Moscow as well as the Kazan Arena and the Saint Petersburg Stadium which have already hosted matches at the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup. Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium is the main venue for the 2018 World Cup. This is the stadium where the Opening Match and the Final match will be held.

Round 1

Round 1 of the World Cup will begin with the first World Cup match to be played on June 16th at the Kaliningrad Stadium between Nigeria and Croatia. That will be followed by Costa Rica facing Serbia on June 17th at the Samara Stadium and the England-Tunisia match on June 18th at the Volgograd Arena. There will be a second game on June 18th  with Korea facing Sweden at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium. On June 19th at Mordovia Arena Japan will meet Columbia and Peru will face France at the Ekaterinburg Arena on June 21st.

Succeeding rounds will take place at various venues throughout Russia.

Get Ready

How can you get ready for the upcoming World Cup?

Regardless of whether you’re planning on a trip to the Motherland or you plan to watch the games from the comfort of your living room armchair you can prepare for the World Cup

Travel

If you like to travel and are up for an adventure, buy some FIFA World Cup Tickets and travel to the game. You can buy World Cup tickets on the FIFA website at https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/organisation/ticketing/index.html.

You can obtain some of the tickets through a random draw. Others are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Throughout the duration of the tournament there will be last-minute tickets sold through the FIFA site.

There are 4 types of tickets:

  1. Individual Match Tickets: tickets sold for a specific Match.
  2. Venue Specific tickets that are sold to matches that will be played at a specific venue
  3. Team Specific tickets which are sold to people who want to see specific teams play
  4. Supporter Tickets (ST) and Conditional Supporter Tickets (CST) which are sold for Group Stage Matches played by the national team between Match 1 and Match 48

Visitors to the World Cup are not required to obtain a visa to travel to Russia.

It’s relatively easy to travel around Russia if you’re planning on attending multiple matches that are played in different locations. Public transportation is plentiful, safe and reliable. If you have a valid Fan-ID the transportation is free.

Watch at Home

If you plan to watch the World Cup online or on TV, you can tune in on Fox or on ESPN.

There are other options to watch the game including:

  • Sky Sports for live streaming the qualifying FIFA matches
  • Sling streaming service
  • EPL streaming player which is free, user-friendly and works on multiple types of devices
  • Hotstar live streaming
  • Live Footfall for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches
  • 365 Scores is an app for live streaming on desktop or mobile.
  • Mobdro free livestreaming service. Two versions, Freemium and Premium. Compatible with Android 4.1 and up.

Analysis

Here are some insights into the upcoming games.

There are 8 groups in the upcoming World Cup:

  • Group A: Russia, Uruguay, Egypt, Saudi Arabia
  • Group B: Portugal, Spain, Iran, Morocco
  • Group C: France, Peru, Denmark, Australia
  • Group D: Argentina, Croatia, Iceland, Nigeria
  • Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
  • Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
  • Group G: Belgium, England, Tunisia, Panama
  • Group H: Poland, Colombia, Senegal, Japan

Teams that got the best draws include Russia, France and England. Argentina was paired with Croatia, Nigeria and Iceland, giving it a tough first-round group.

Morocco shouldn’t be underestimated as it battles powerhouses Spain and Portugal. France is in an ideal position in its group since Australia doesn’t have a coach, Denmark’s team is not considered a threat and Peru is the weakest of the second seeds.

Croatia in Group D might be one of the biggest surprises of the tournament and Brazil is, to no one’s great surprise, the favorite in Group F. Group G seems to offer no significant challenges to reigning champions Germany while in Groups G  and H the outcomes are completely up in the air since the groups are fairly well matched.

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