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The World Cup, one of the most anticipated football events, is officially underway, with Russia hosting the games. The cup will be held in 11 Russian cities, with 12 stadiums being used especially for the event. Currently, a European team is pegged to win in the tournament, with favourites Germany and Brazil slated for the title. Germany won the cup last year, and are hoping to make it again, becoming the first team to secure a back-to-back win since 1962. Who is playing in the World Cup? The tournament includes teams from all over the world that have been able to qualify after rigorous testing prior to the tournament. This year, 32 teams were able to qualify for the cup, England being the only one from the home nations to do so. Each team is initially placed into one of eight groups, and overall victors from each group will progress onwards to the next stage of the tournament. Russia will kick off the World Cup this year, facing off against Saudi Arabia in the first Group A match. The match will kick off 7pm local time at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium, meaning the math will play at 4pm in the UK. Like the Olympics, the World Cup begins with an opening ceremony, taking place today before the first game. The ceremony will also be held in Luzhniki stadium, half an hour before kickoff at 3.30pm BST. When does England play? England will play their first match next week when they face off against Tunisia on Monday 18th June. They will play at the Fisht Olympic stadium in Sochi at 7pm local time, 4pm BST. The game will be available to watch on ITV and 5 Live from kickoff. How can you watch the World Cup this year? Both the BBC and ITV have announced they will be broadcasting most games,and the BBC have committed to 29 ames in full UHD. Pundits Gary Lineker and Mark Pougatch have been confirmed for BBC and ITV respectively. Games will play on ITV1, ITV4, as well as BBC One and BBC Two. Sky Sports will also be covering every game on their digital platforms, as well as providing valuable match insight available on the Sky Sports app and website. BT Sport will also cover match features on their own service.
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