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14th June 2018 is the date for the diary as the World Cup gets underway in Moscow as Russia take on Saudi Arabia in the opening match. Read on for all of the key World Cup dates for this summer from the opening match right through to the Final at Luzhniki Stadium.

When does the World Cup start?

The World Cup gets underway on June 14th in Moscow at the Luzhniki Stadium as the hosts Russia take on Saudi Arabia at 4pm BST. Prior to that will the opening ceremony and as has become tradition in international tournaments over the last few years, it will be the only match played on that day.

On the day after we start on the diet of three games a day and these include three tasty games! The other two Group A teams Uruguay and Egypt, led by Luis Suarez and Mohamed Salah respectively, go head to head, before Morocco take on Iran and then in what is arguably the stand-out fixture of the group stages, arch rivals and neighbours Portugal and Spain take each other on.

The rest of the group stages take place over the next fortnight and there are more mouthwatering games including Belgium vs England, Croatia vs Argentina and Germany vs Mexico to get stuck into until we reach the knock-out stages!

World Cup fixtures and dates

Here is how the World Cup is split up this summer. The group stages take place over the course of two weeks, with the opening ceremony and first fixture taking place between Russia and Saudi Arabia in Moscow on June 14th. 

This stage will run until June 28th, with three games a day being played most days although the final round of matches require games in each group to be played at the same time.

The Round of 16 then takes just four days to complete until we are through to the final eight stage and the Quarter Finals take place over July 6th and July 7th. The semi-finals will then be played on July 10th and 11th, before the World Cup Final takes place on July 15th, with the third place play-off occurring the day before.

World Cup round dates

Group StagesJune 14th - June 28th
Round of 16June 30th - July 3rd
Quarter FinalsJuly 6th - July 7th
Semi FinalsJuly 10th - July 11th
Third Place Play-offJuly 14th
FinalJuly 15th

When do England play at the World Cup?

England are the only team from the Home Nations to secure qualification to Russia 2018 and they have been handed Tunisia, Panama and Belgium in Group H.

Their first match against Tunisia, who were the Three Lions' first opponents 20 years previous at World Cup 1998 in France, will take place on June 18th at 7pm BST. This will be the first game of the tournament played at the Volgograd Arena.

Next up, Gareth Southgate's men head to Nizhny Novrogod where they will play at another brand new stadium against World Cup debutants Panama. England vs Panama will take place on June 24th at 1pm GMT.

And finally the Three Lions will round off their group stages with arguably their most difficult game on paper against Roberto Martinez's Belgium. This match will take place in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad on June 28th at 7pm BST.

When is the World Cup Final?

The World Cup Final is set to take place in the same arena as the opening match and ceremony, Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, on the 15th July 2018 at 4pm BST.

As is now customary, the third-place play-off will take place the day before, but all eyes will be on Russia's capital for the centrepiece and finale on the 15th July as every one of the 32 competing teams dreams of booking their place in the final and getting their hands on the most famous trophy of international football.

Not sure who will make the final? Follow us for all of your up to date World Cup betting tips and news ahead of what is sure to be an enthralling month of action on the biggest stage of all!  

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