9 mitutes ago
The game of the day (and probably the first round of fixtures) takes place at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi. European Champions Portugal are scarcely mentioned when discussing contenders for the tournament, which is a little peculiar given their talented squad, recent tournament pedigree and the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo. It would be a surprise, but a win over a team in tumult tonight would be a strong first step.
The Yekaterinburg Arena hosts Egypt-Uruguay today. It is the eastern-most of the World Cup venues and unique in the fact that it is situated in Asian Russia. To boost the capacity of the stadium, the architects have got a little funky:
Talking of England, the squad are in the gym this morning ahead of today's training session. It was confirmed on Thursday that Marcus Rashford will return to full training today after overcoming a minor knee injury.
If you haven't already caught up, may I recommend the Indy Football Podcast, available through various channels (iTunes, acast, etc.). There will be a brand new episode every day throughout the World Cup - today's episode features and talking about their experience of the first game, as well as an update from England's camp in Repino from Well worth a listen.
Somewhat bizarrely, it was Robbie Williams who began the tournament, cranking out all the hits as the centrepiece of the opening ceremony (though strangely not performing "Party Like a Russian"). Williams still managed to land himself in hot water, however, a one-fingered salute during "Rock DJ" forcing Fox to apologise. Maybe he should have confined the gesture to the "Rudebox"...