WE HAVE VAR!
Controversy in Kazan! The referee Andres Cunha waves away a penalty claim for a foul by Josh Risdon on Antoine Griezmann.
However, he watches a replay on the pitch-side monitor and overrules his original decision, pointing to the penalty spot!
Griezmann tucks home the resulting spot-kick and, if you ask me, VAR did its job correctly there.
LOW: ENGLAND HAVE IMPROVED
Germany head coach Joachim Low has been speaking ahead of their clash with Mexico.
He is confident ‘Die Mannschaft’ have improved since their victory in the 2014 World Cup (an ominous sign for all the other sides), but he was also positive about England’s progress under Gareth Southgate.
He said: “I get asked if our team is stronger than 2014. Every team becomes a bit stronger in four years, at least the teams of the top-nations.
“France, Spain, England is definitely better, definitely better than 2014. This is what you will experience.
“We also have got some more options now.”
DENMARK’S KEY MAN: CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN
We take a look at Denmark’s talisman Christian Eriksen’s best moments from the Premier League last season as the Danes prepare to take on Peru in their Group C opener.
‘MEXICO CAN HURT GERMANY’
Joshua Kimmich has warned his Germany team-mates that Mexico can hurt them when they face each other in Group F tomorrow.
The two sides played in the Confederations Cup last year, when Mexico outplayed the Germans but somehow contrived to lose 4-1.
MBAPPE, POGBA START FOR FRANCE
The teams are in for France vs Australia, and Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba both start for Les Bleus.
Australia have a few English-based players in their XI – Matt Ryan, Aaron Mooy and Mile Jedinak (sporting a quite extraordinary beard) all make the team.
PERU’S TIME TO SHINE?
By all accounts, Peru fans are taking over Russia as they return to the World Cup after going decades without qualifying.
They begin their 2018 campaign against a Denmark side searching for a way to recover from the injury that ruled Lord Nicklas Bendtner out of the tournament.
ELSEWHERE IN GROUP D…
…it’s time to get that Nigeria shirt you bought before the World Cup out of the drawer and get ready for the Super Eagles’ clash with Croatia. I got Luka Modric’s boys in the office sweepstake, so forgive me if a little bias creeps into the blog.
FRANCE KICK-OFF CAMPAIGN
Just 90 minutes to go before France and Australia begin their World Cup campaigns.
Hear the latest from both teams’ camps in the video below, as well as a prediction from the Psychic Sausage…
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
If you missed the thriller that was Portugal 3-3 Spain last night, then I genuinely feel sorry for you.
Anyway, here is a round-up of all the action from the game of the World Cup so far, as well an analysis of Cristiano Ronaldo’s incredible record at major tournaments.
A bumper day of World Cup action for you today. France vs Australiakicks us off at 11am, with the likes Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezman ready to come to the party.
Argentina vs Iceland follows at 2pm as Lionel Messi begins his latest attempt at World Cup success with his country.
Peru vs Denmark starts at 5pm in what promises to be a key clash in deciding who progresses from this competitive group.
And if that is not enough for you, Croatia vs Nigeria kicks off at 8pm to bring a hectic day to a close.
Folks, the World Cup is well and truly underway!
Hello and good morning! We have not one, not two, not three but FOUR World Cup fixtures to look forward to! France and Argentina – two of the favourites to make the final in a month’s time – kick-off their campaigns today.
We will also have updates from the Germany and Belgium camps to bring you, as well as a round-up of all the other news and views from the tournament.