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Thursday June 14th sees the start of this year’s World Cup as Russia play Saudi Arabia in the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow – 4 p.m. local time 8 pm in Pattaya. However with Russia having numerous time zones starting times will vary but generally will be ideal evening viewing in local bars such as IRovers, The Sportsman and the Robin Hood Tavern .Below are the teams in each of the 8 groups and the full listing of every match being played in the group qualifying stages. Keep hold of this month’s trader to check the times of when your own favourite teams are playing.


Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay            Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark                   Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia           Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea

Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England               Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

Matches you may want to look out for include: the first appearance of Ronaldo’s Portugal against the well fancied Spain on the 15th then on the 16th we have the talented France side v Australia and also the first appearance of Lionel Messi and company against Iceland.

The 17th sees the opening matches for both defending champions Germany and Brazil both of whom are heavily fancied to lift this year’s World Cup. Then on the 18th we have the first appearance of Gareth Southgate’s new look England side who open their campaign against Tunisia. With the group stages seeded as they are it would be a major shock if any of the most fancied teams did not qualify for the latter stages. This means the likes of Spain, Portugal, France, Argentina, Brazil and Germany will all expect to progress and with dangerous outsiders such as Uruguay, Croatia, Belgium and dare we say it England this could hopefully be one of the most entertaining and enthralling World cups of recent times.