A month of global football action kicks off with hosts Russia facing Saudi Arabia, but not before the spectacular opening ceremony.

Get set for a month of the beautiful game as the World Cup begins in Russia, where current holders Germany will be defending their title against the world’s greatest players.

the opening ceremony from Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium (2.30pm), Russia kick off their own assault on the trophy 
with a Group A match against Saudi Arabia (k-o 4pm).

The Russian team face Saudi Arabia in their first match

Russia have failed to advance from the group stage of any tournament since 2008, but this time out have great hopes of Krasnodar forward Fyodor Smolov (pictured top, with the ball), 
while Saudi Arabia will be looking for goals from top 31-year-old striker Mohammad Al-Sahlawi.

TV Times rating: ****