FIFA World Cup 2018: Crucial Matches You Just Can’t Miss!

Updated on: Jun 4, 2018 12:33 pm IST

Fever for the FIFA World Cup 2018 is truly on, as only days are left for the footballing bonanza to begin.

But, it is a fact that most of the viewers won’t have the patience to watch all the game like the aficionados who will be glued to the TV.

Therefore, to make things easier for the “casual” viewer, here is a list of matches you just can’t miss.

1.Egypt vs Uruguay

The mouthwatering encounter between Mohamed Salah’s Egypt and Luis Suarez’s Uruguay will be one to look out for.

This will be either team’s first game of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.

World Cup
Mohamed Salah has been phenomenal in 2017/18 season for Liverpool. Photo Courtesy: NDTV Sports

Salah has earned plaudits from everyone who saw him play for Liverpool in 2017/18. The 25-year-old possesses a tremendous talent and this being his first appearance at the biggest stage of them all, he will be looking to make even bigger statements.

Uruguay has the likes of Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, Giorgian De Arrascaeta and Christian Stuani as a list of attacking options.

The South-American nation has a decent record at the World Cup and they will be looking to win this first game against Egypt to assert their dominance in Group A.

When: June 15, 2018

Where: Ekaterinburg Area, Ekaterinburg

Time: 5:30 PM

2. Portugal vs Spain

Arguably the most exciting match of the group-stage is between two contenders of World Cup title. UEFA Euro Cup 2016 Champions Portugal and FIFA World Cup 2010 Champions Spain.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been on roll since the last World Cup in Brazil, where his team were knocked out of the tournament from the group stage itself.

World Cup
Cristiano Ronaldo will be going against some of his teammates in Spain. Photo Courtesy: Calgary Herald

Coach Fernando Santos has revolutionised this side to perform to their maximum potential and he will be eyeing this tournament to add another jewel in his CV of achievements.

Meanwhile, Spain suffered a similar fate as well in their last outing. Coming into the 2014 edition of the tournament being heavy favourites they were humbled by Netherlands and Chile to be usurped.

However, this Spanish side on paper appears to be stronger than ever and La Furia Roja will be eyeing their own story of redemption.

This encounter will depict who will finish on top in Group B, which will help the team to get favourable matches in the next stage of Round of 16.

When: June 15, 2018

Where: Fisht Stadium, Sochi

Time: 11:30 PM

3. Brazil vs Switzerland

The South American nation is always a treat to watch whenever they dawn the yellow and blue jersey and step onto the pitch. With the star-studded lineup they have, the team is ready once again to mount another charge to the title and win their sixth FIFA World Cup.

World Cup
Neymar marked his return with a goal against Croatia. Photo Courtesy: Sports News

Neymar has recovered from his ankle injury and looked to be in great touch against Croatia on Sunday.

On the other hand, Switzerland will be coming into the tournament will one of the most astute defences. They have caused a problem to the opposition with serious pace as well and are a difficult team to beat.

Their 1-1 draw against Spain this past weekend showed their character, and such small reassurances will be beneficial for the European side when they are competing for the top spot of Group E with Brazil.

When: June 17, 2018

Where: Rostov Arena, Rostov

Time: 11:30 PM

4. England vs Belguim

Perennial contenders England are going into the World Cup with a rejuvenated squad. Coach Gareth Southgate has chosen players on the basis of their performances and has also made some questionable calls by leaving out some decent players.

World Cup
Harry Kane is the captain of England at WC 2018. Photo Courtesy: The Indian Express

Regardless, The Lions will be hungry to taste success as this bunch of young talented footballers want to showcase their ability to the footballing world.

With one of the best strikers on the planet in Harry Kane as their captain, they will be led with vigour and valour.

Simultaneously, Belgium is also in the exact same position.

Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku are some of the superstars within the team and it would be a travesty if this team once again underperformed and went out earlier than expected.

This match-up is intriguing for one more reason. Most of the players in either side play their club football in the Premier League. The teammates would know each other’s weaknesses or strengths. This tidbit will only add spice to the fierce battle when it commences.

When: June 28, 2018

Where: Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad

Time: 11:30 PM

5. Poland vs Colombia

The two teams had the misfortune of being clubbed in the Group of Death.

But, this encounter of Group H is going to be the one everyone should look out for.

Both teams are exceptionally gifted in the attacking department.

Poland captain is the cerebral Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski. He has been knocking on the door for the spot of being considered the best in the world at his position for a while, and this tournament is the apt stepping stone he will use to exhibit his brilliance.

Colombia is known to run their opponents ragged with pressure football coupled with an exuberant display of flair.

The team’s flamboyant style of play has helped them gain a lot of success and this will only make Poland an even more difficult adversary to tackle.

With Senegal and Japan stalking this match as to who will come out on top, it is crucial for either team to win this game in an already gruelling group.

When: June 24, 2018

Where: Kazan Arena, Kazan

Time: 11:30 PM

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