The world's most widely-viewed sporting event, the men's soccer World Cup, begins Thursday in Russia, where the host country's national team will face off against Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Russia is the lowest-ranked team in the 2018 World Cup, Sporting News notes, having failed to win their last seven friendly matches since October, while Saudi Arabia last reached the global finals in 1994. "Never mind that it's the least appealing World Cup opener ever," writes Henry Bushnell for Yahoo Sports. "If you're a soccer fan, you watch the World Cup opener."
Beginning Friday, there will be three daily matches for the first 10 days of the tournament, followed by four daily matches during the final days of the group phase. The Round of 16 knockout phase begins June 30, with the tournament final scheduled for July 15. Germany, who won the last World Cup in 2014, will be defending their title.
Games can be watched on Fox or Fox Sports 1, or in Spanish on Telemundo or NBC Universo. Russia vs. Saudi Arabia kicks off at 11 a.m. ET. While the U.S. team failed to qualify, The Week has a handy guide to help you choose what team to root for instead. Jeva Lange