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Full schedule for the 2018 World Cup

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The 2018 World Cup is just one week away.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news

It’s time to focus on when/where the madness will ensue across Russia over the next month from June 14 – July 15.

With that in mind, below is a look at the full schedule for the entire 2018 World Cup with times, venues and dates for all 64 games being played in 12 stadiums across 11 host cities.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

All kick off times are listed in Eastern Time in the USA.


GROUP STAGE

Group A
Thursday, June 14: Russia v Saudi Arabia, Moscow (Luzhniki) 11am
Friday, June 15: Egypt v Uruguay,  Ekaterinburg 10am

Tuesday, June 19: Russia v Egypt, St Petersburg 2pm
Wednesday, June 20: Uruguay v Saudi Arabia, Rostov-on-Don 11am

Monday, June 25: Uruguay v Russia, Samara 10am
Monday, June 25: Saudi Arabia v Egypt, Volgograd 10am


Group B
Friday, June 15: Morocco v Iran, St Petersburg 11am
Friday, June 15: Portugal v Spain, Sochi 2pm

Wednesday, June 20: Portugal v Morocco, Moscow (Luzhniki) 8am
Wednesday, June 20: Iran v Spain, Kazan 2pm

Monday, June 25: Spain v Morocco, Kaliningrad 2pm
Monday, June 25: Iran v Portugal, Saransk 2pm


Group C

Saturday, June 16: France v Australia, Kazan 6am
Saturday, June 16: Peru v Denmark, Saransk 12pm

Thursday, June 21: France v Peru, Ekaterinburg 11am
Thursday, June 21: Denmark v Australia, Samara 8am

Tuesday, June 26: Denmark v France, Moscow (Luzhniki) 10am
Tuesday, June 26: Australia v Peru, Sochi 10am


Group D

Saturday, June 16: Argentina v Iceland, Moscow (Spartak) 9am
Saturday, June 16: Croatia v Nigeria, Kaliningrad 3pm

Thursday, June 21: Argentina v Croatia, Nizhny Novgorod 2pm
Friday, June 22: Nigeria v Iceland, Volgograd 11am

Tuesday, June 26: Nigeria v Argentina, St Petersburg 2pm
Tuesday, June 26: Iceland v Croatia, Rostov-on-Don 2pm


Group E

Sunday, June 17: Costa Rica v Serbia, Samara 8am
Sunday, June 17: Brazil v Switzerland, Rostov-on-Don 2pm

Friday, June 22: Brazil v Costa Rica, St Petersburg 8am
Friday, June 22: Serbia v Switzerland, Kaliningrad 2pm

Wednesday, June 27: Serbia v Brazil, Moscow (Spartak) 2pm
Wednesday, June 27: Switzerland v Costa Rica, Nizhny Novgorod 2pm


Group F

Sunday, June 17: Germany v Mexico, Moscow (Luzhniki) 11am
Monday, June 18: Sweden v South Korea, Nizhny Novgorod 8am

Saturday, June 23: Germany v Sweden, Sochi 2pm
Saturday, June 23: South Korea v Mexico, Rostov-on-Don 11am

Wednesday, June 27: South Korea v Germany, Kazan 10am
Wednesday, June 27: Mexico v Sweden, Ekaterinburg 10am


Group G
Monday, June 18: Belgium v Panama, Sochi 11am
Monday, June 18: Tunisia v England, Volgograd 2pm

Saturday, June 23: Belgium v Tunisia, Moscow (Spartak) 8am
Sunday, June 24: England v Panama, Nizhny Novgorod 8am

Thursday, June 28: England v Belgium, Kaliningrad 2pm
Thursday, June 28: Panama v Tunisia, Saransk 2pm


Group H
Tuesday, June 19: Poland v Senegal, Moscow (Spartak) 11am
Tuesday, June 19: Colombia v Japan, Saransk 8am

Sunday, June 24: Japan v Senegal, Ekaterinburg 11am
Sunday, June 24: Poland v Colombia, Kazan 2pm

Thursday, June 28: Japan v Poland, Volgograd 10am
Thursday, June 28: Senegal v Colombia, Samara 10am


ROUND OF 16

Saturday, June 30: 1C v 2D Kazan 10am (Match 50)
Saturday, June 30: 1A v 2B Sochi 2pm (Match 49)
Sunday, July 1: 1B v 2A Moscow (Luzhniki) 10am (Match 51)
Sunday, July 1: 1D v 2C Nizhny Novgorod 2pm (Match 52)
Monday, July 2: 1E v 2F Samara 10am (Match 53)
Monday, July 2: 1G v 2H Rostov-on-Don 2pm (Match 54)
Tuesday, July 3: 1F v 2E St Petersburg 10m (Match 55)
Tuesday, July 3: 1H v 2G Moscow (Spartak) 2pm (Match 56)


QUARTERFINALS

Friday, July 6: Winner match 49 v winner match 50 Nizhny Novgorod 10am (Match 57)
Friday, July 6: Winner match 53 v winner match 54 Kazan 2pm (Match 58)
Saturday, July 7: Winner match 55 v winner match 56 Samara 10am (Match 60)
Saturday, July 7: Winner match 51 v winner match 52 Sochi 2pm (Match 59)


SEMIFINALS

Tuesday, July 10: Winner match 57 v winner match 58 St Petersburg 2pm
Wednesday, July 11: Winner match 59 v winner match 60 Moscow (Luzhniki) 2pm

THIRD-PLACE MATCH

Saturday, July 14: St Petersburg 10am

FINAL

Sunday, July 15: Moscow (Luzhniki) 11am

Report: Newcastle’s Clark knocked out on Spanish dance floor

Scott Heavey/PA via AP
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A wild story out of Spain says an Englishman knocked Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark unconscious at a night club.

[ MORE: Sampaoli defends Messi ]

Clark was on vacation in Spain, where he was spending time at Crystal’s Bar in Punta Ballena, Magaluf very early Sunday morning.

Clark and a man “in his 30s” got into an argument that saw the Irish defender knocked out, according to the BBC.

Clark was left unconscious and taken to hospital after an argument between him and the suspect broke out on the dance floor.

The 28-year-old suffered cuts and bruises to his face.

Clark, 28, scored twice in 20 Premier League appearances this season, his second at St. James’ Park.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 9 — Iceland’s next step, Brazilian bounce back?

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Brazil is one of the favorites of the 2018 World Cup, while Iceland is the smallest nation to qualify for the world’s biggest tournament.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

On Friday, both enter their second match days feeling quite different after 1-1 draws.

They won’t face each other, of course, but the contrast is striking nevertheless.

Brazil opens the day’s action when it squares off with Costa Rica, who fell to Serbia in the opener. For Serbia, a dark horse of the tournament, it will be a meeting with Switzerland.

Then there’s Iceland’s bid to climb into the Group D driver’s seat by knocking off Nigeria. A win from Iceland would make Lionel Messi and Argentina’s task of qualifying for the knockout rounds extremely unlikely.

Below is Friday’s schedule in full.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.


2018 World Cup schedule – Wednesday, June 20

Group D
Nigeria vs. Iceland: Volgograd, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group E
Brazil vs. Costa Rica: Saint Petersburg, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
Serbia vs. Switzerland: Kaliningrad, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Sampaoli defends Messi, blasts Argentina

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Jorge Sampaoli is lambasting his team after a 3-0 loss put Argentina on the edge of failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup’s knockout rounds.

“The reality of the Argentina squad clouds Lionel Messi’s brilliance,” Sampaoli said. “The team doesn’t gel as well as it should.”

[ MORE: Modric urges humility ]

Sampaoli said his players could not find a way to get the ball to Messi, and that the introduction of Boca Juniors youngster Cristian Pavón was aimed at opening up the field a little bit.

And Sampaoli is not shying away from the long-discussed comparison between Messi and Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo. From the BBC:

“Cristiano is a great player and he has achieved a lot with club and country. Right now it is hard to compare these two players because of the ability in the Argentinian squad clouds the judgment. Leo is in a difficult position because the squad doesn’t gel with him. As coach I have to accept that. I don’t feel shame but I definitely feel pain. It has been a long time since I have gone through this experience as a coach and obviously it is more painful when I’m wearing the colours of my country.

“We have no alternative but to give it our all in the final match. We have not performed at the level the country expects. We were ambitious ahead of the game but now it is harder for us as a group. We did think this would be the match we can take off as a team, but it wasn’t in the end. I think this is an excellent squad but we didn’t gel or come together. We need to take advantage of the next match, when the pressure will be on, and hope to progress.”

Now, of course Sampaoli is going to defend Messi, but Argentina’s team is not chopped liver. The side certainly isn’t as deep or solid as Croatia, but 1-1 with Iceland preceded this one.

That said, Argentina’s performance once Croatia essentially decided to surround Messi was unacceptable. If favored Nigeria doesn’t handle its business against Iceland, the World Cup finalists won’t have a prayer of going back.

Modric urges humility after big win, stunning goal (video)

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There are few teams who’ve looked as strong as Croatia at the World Cup in Russia.

[ RECAP: Argentina 0-3 Croatia ]

Zlatko Dalic’s men now have a pair of shutout wins against decent competition, topping Nigeria 2-0 over the weekend before hammering Argentina 3-0 on Thursday.

The nature of those performances will have many, us included, debating just how far Croatia can run in this tournament. Veteran midfielder Luka Modric is hoping his team doesn’t do the same.

Let’s not be euphoric or get ahead of ourselves,” Modric said. “Of course this win will boost our confidence for the next game, and we have shown we can create opportunities, but let’s keep our feet firmly on the ground.”

Modric noted that Willy Caballero‘s howler “was a shot in the arm,” but added that they had played a “perfect game.”

That’s true. And while so much focus will be on Messi’s struggles, don’t sleep on the terrific performance of Vatreni. 

Modric also seemed to bristle when asked about shutting down Messi.

“I don’t want to talk about other players. We are happy with our own performance. We wanted to cut out Messi receiving the ball because he is the most dangerous player.”