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Full schedule for the 2018 World Cup

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The 2018 World Cup is just one week away.

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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.

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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

Gomes return gives Everton boost despite defeat

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Everton lost the first game of a gauntlet four-game swing, losing 3-2 at Arsenal despite leading inside two minutes of the match. But while Everton left the Emirates without any points, it gained a massive boost with the return of Andre Gomes.

The Portuguese central midfielder, signed from Barcelona, made his return to the field on Sunday off the bench in the 59th minute for his first game since suffering a gruesome injury on November 3 against Tottenham. Gomes appeared to break his leg after a sliding tackle from behind from Heung-Min Son, but in less than four months, Gomes is now back in action.

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“I need to thank everybody. The team, they were great, my supporters, Evertonions, and also in general football supporters, everyone has been wonderful with me,” Gomes said after the Arsenal match. “(It) gives (me) confidence when you feel like you have the support of the people. I just pushed myself to the my limit, I wanted to be back as soon as possible, and I’m glad I have the help of everybody around me.”

This is huge for Everton and head coach Carlo Ancelotti. Without Gomes, and the oft-injured Fabian Delph (though Delph started against Arsenal), Everton really lacked pace and power in the center of midfield. Morgan Schneiderlin is a decent passer but doesn’t have the pace required for the Premier League, and then Ancelotti was dropping Gylfi Sigurdsson further back in midfield to play alongside Schneiderlin or Delph.

With Gomes back in contention for a starting spot, Ancelotti can play Sigurdsson closer to the opposing goal and partner him with either Delph or the still-young Tom Davies, who can do even more running to win the ball back and get it to Gomes.

“He did really well without problem,” Ancelotti said post game. “(He was) very strong in the tackle. The player is really important for us and he will play next game.”

Looking forward, it’s also huge for Everton to get Gomes back because they’re in the middle of one of the season’s toughest stretches. After facing Arsenal today, Everton hosts Manchester United, visits Chelsea, and then hosts Liverpool on Monday, March 16 in the Merseyside Derby.

Galatasaray wins bonkers derby over Fenerbahce

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Goals. Fights. Red cards. Yellow cards. Horror tackles. Passion in the stands.

The Intercontinental Derby in Istanbul today had just about everything.

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For the first time this century, Galatasaray defeated Fenerbahce in the Turkish Superlig, winning 3-1 on the road. With the victory, Galatasaray moves into a three-way tie for first place in the league. As mentioned above, the game featured 12 yellow cards, VAR reviews, two red cards, and countless other dangerous plays that the officials let go with just a warning.

Max Kruse put the Asia-based Fenerbahce in front off a penalty kick that was confirmed by VAR, but Dutch defender Ryan Donk equalized for the European-based Galatasaray in the 39th minute off a bullit header in the box from a corner.

With both teams trading chances, the tempers exploded in the 77th minute after Henry Onyekuru was taken down on the left side of the box. VAR confirmed that decision as well and former Atletico Madrid star Radamel Falcao powered the penalty in to give Galatasaray a huge lead.

Five minutes later, as Younes Belhanda was coming off the field as a substitution, a scuffle that he started with Deniz Turuc ended with both players getting sent off. Awkwardly, Ahmet Calik had come onto the pitch for Belhanda, but Belhanda’s actions just before he left the pitch meant that Calik wasn’t officially in the game yet and the substitution was cancelled. Calik eventually entered as a sub for Radamel Falcao, while both teams were reduced to ten players on the pitch.

In the 89th minute, Fernando Muslera dived to make an outstanding save on a powerful free kick from Mehmet Ekici, and eight minutes later deep into second half stoppage time, Muslera played provider. His long pass from inside the box found Onyekuru in space and the Nigerian dribbled forward, rounded Fenerbahce goalkeeper Altay Bayindir and scored before going into a slide celebration in the corner.

The game had a couple of Premier League connections. Former Fulham midfielder Jean-Michael Seri and Falcao, formerly of Manchester United, both started for Galatasaray. Goal-scorer Ryan Donk played a decade ago one season for West Bromwich Albion and Sofiane Feghouli played recently for West Ham. For Fenerbahce, Mauricio Isla also played one season for Queens Park Rangers.

Watch the highlights from this wild and crazy – and totally on-point – derby below.

Ziyech’s Chelsea contract details confirmed

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Chelsea has confirmed the contract details of talented midfielder Hakim Ziyech who will join this summer.

The London giants announced on Sunday that Ziyech has signed a five-year contract with Chelsea, beginning on July 1 this summer when his transfer from Ajax is completed.

On February 13, Chelsea and Ajax came to an agreement on a transfer fee for Ziyech, reported to be in the region of $43 million.

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“I am delighted and proud to have signed for such a huge club as Chelsea,” Ziyech said in a statement. “I am looking forward to next season and hope we can achieve great things together.”

Chelsea was intent on signing Ziyech ahead of the competition and made Ajax a deal they couldn’t refuse.

The left-footed playmaker has been a star for Ajax and in the UEFA Champions League for the last few seasons, helping lead Ajax to the Champions League semifinals last season. So far this season, he’s scored eight goals and recorded four assists between the Dutch Eredivisie and the Champions League.

Ziyech’s arrival this summer surely spells the end of time for Pedro and William as attacking midfielders at Chelsea. The Dutchman, who usually plays as a right winger, cutting inside with the left foot, could create a great combination with Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham, and Mason Mount moving forward. Chelsea could also certainly sign another one in that position, to keep a deep squad in case of injuries and/or fatigue.

Arteta vows to keep Aubameyang: “Our most important player”

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Arsenal completed a hectic week with a hectic win prodded by its two top performers of the season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice and Bernd Leno made key late saves as the exhausted Gunners outlasted Everton 3-2 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was effusive in his praise, relatively speaking, for both players. He said that Leno “saved” Arsenal, and went long on Aubameyang when asked how important the player is to the club’s future.

“Incredible,” Arteta said. “The amount of work he’s doing. Before I had my questions, (but he’s) shown the commitment that he’s shown to his teammates and the club. I wasn’t sure if he wanted to do it, or do it physically. So it’s either you want to do it or don’t.

“He’s our most important player. Stats wise, there’s no question. As much as I can and the club can, we will try to convince him to stay with us.”

Arteta also appreciates the effort his men put in against an energetic Everton side three days after outlasting Olympiacos in Greece.

“Coming back from Europe, three games in seven days, conceding a goal in the first minute, the way we reacted, the way we played for 60-65 minutes was exactly what I wasn’t from my team,” Arteta preened. “The resilience some of the players showed when they were absolutely knackered and kept going and going. This was exactly what I wanted. … Everybody was looking at me, saying ‘I’m cramping. I’m doing this, doing that.’ We could only change two players. I tried to condense the midfield and have a little bit more energy.”

Leno was very happy with Arsenal’s effort.

The Gunners have been much better since Arteta implemented his system, even if their 270-minute shutout streak died in the first minute on Sunday.

“You could see that our power was at the end,” Leno said. “We were fighting. You can see how happy everyone was after this game because we deserve this and we have to keep going.”

Aubameyang praised his keeper.

“We are always happy to have him. He saved us a couple of times at the right moment. We’re proud of him and we know that we can count on him. He gives us more energy to push.”

The ninth-place Gunners are four points off fifth place and, of course, still alive for a Champions League berth through the Europa League.

Staying in the Champions League is probably their only path to keeping Aubameyang, and Arteta’s description of the Gabonese star doesn’t try to disguise the need to keep him in North London.