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Full schedule for 2018 World Cup

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The 2018 World Cup is just one day away. 24 hours. Let’s do this.

[ 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

Europa League field: Who can Chelsea, Arsenal draw?

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There are 32 teams left in the quest for two spots at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan, one of which will earn an automatic spot in the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League.

[ MORE: Europa League wrap ]

The intrigue in the field took a hit when Rangers and AC Milan failed to advance, meaning there will not be an Old Firm Derby or Milan Derby inside of UEL play.

And Maurizio Sarri‘s last two clubs, Napoli and Chelsea, are seeded for the Round of 32 draw, so they will not meet for at least one more round.

Both Chelsea and Arsenal can draw anyone from the group of unseeded teams, with no English teams in the field. Arsenal-Celtic? Chelsea-Lazio?

Seeded teams
Bayer Leverkusen
Red Bull Salzburg
Zenit Saint-Petersburg
Dinamo Zagreb
Arsenal
Real Betis
Villarreal
Eintracht Frankfurt
Genk
Sevilla
Dynamo Kiev
Chelsea
Napoli
Valencia
Inter Milan
Benfica

Unseeded teams
Zurich
Celtic
Slavia Prague
Fenerbahce
Sporting Lisbon
Olympiacos
Rapid Vienna
Lazio
Malmo
Krasnodar
Rennes
BATE Borisov
Viktoria Plzen
Club Brugge
Shakhtar Donetsk
Galatasaray

Emery praises Arsenal teen: “His personality is very important”

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Unai Emery played the kids in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Qarabag on Thursday at the Emirates Stadium, as the Gunners claimed the top spot in their group.

[ RECAP: Arsenal 1-0 Qarabag ]

Bukayo Saka, Carl JenkinsonJoe WillockEddie Nketiah, and Zech Medley all got meaningful playing time for the Gunners, and Emery specifically liked Saka (17).

Emery, like Arsene Wenger, believes very much in getting experiencefor his kids.

From The London Evening Standard:

“We have a responsibility to every young player to give them chances to train with us,” Emery told Standard Sport. “We are very demanding of ourselves in his performance. We give them these chances in the games like today when we can do that. They show us positive things in every match.

“Today Saka played with a good performance, with a very big personality. We were speaking at half-time, they were trying one-on-one against the opposition. Not every action was good for us but his personality is very important, continuing in the second half to try to do one-on-ones and break lines with his quality.”

Will anyone have made enough of an impact to get some time in the Premier League? We’ll see, but remember that this Gunners system has sent Reiss Nelson on loan to Hoffenheim.

Also, to put this in perspective: Saka was born six days before Sept. 11, 2001. This class of youngster in the Arsenal system is coming, and coming fast.

Europa League roundup: Arsenal wins; Rangers, AC Milan bounced

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Twenty-four games in about four hours: It’s the Europa League group stage, and it’s reached its conclusion.

[ MORE: Mourinho: “Job done” in UCL ]

A very young Arsenal claimed its group, Celtic bunkered down but couldn’t advance to the knockout rounds, and rivals Rangers couldn’t quite find the offense needed to complete a promising UEL campaign.


Rapid Vienna 1-0 Rangers

Steven Gerrard‘s promising first European campaign as first team manager has ended thanks to a goal from sub Dejan Ljubicic in Austria. A very even game, Rangers could not find a way past Richard Strebinger.

Arsenal 1-0 Qarabag

Alexandre Lacazette‘s 17th minute goal gave the Gunners a leg up on the group lead in a game with a bunch of unusual faces on the pitch. Carl Jenkinson, Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah, and Saka Bukayo were among the starters, and Lacazette left for Zech Medley in the 63rd minute as Arsenal saved its best for a trip to Southampton on Sunday (No offense to Mesut Ozil and Laurent Koscielny, who went 90 minutes each).

MOL Vidi 2-2 Chelsea

We’ve already shown you Willian’s terrific free kick, and this match in Hungary was plenty entertaining for a relatively inconsequential outing. Ethan Ampadu scored an own goal two minutes after Chelsea took the lead, and MOL Vidi led 2-1 when Olivier Giroud restored the stalemate in the 75th.

Celtic 1-2 Red Bull Salzburg

The visitors dominated and finally found a way past goalkeeper Craig Gordon through a 67th Moanes Dabbur marker. Celtic went down two with Fredrik Gulbrandsen adding to the score line.

RB Leipzig 1-1 Rosenborg

Matheus Cunha’s goal just after halftime looked to have prodded RBL above Celtic and into the Round of 32, but Tore Reginiussen leveled for the Norwegian side.

Olympiacos 3-1 AC Milan

Gennaro Gattuso’s men are out of Europe after a four-goal second half.

Elsewhere
Villarreal 2-0 Spartak Moscow
Lazio 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
Sevilla 3-0 Krasnodar
Marseille 1-3 Apollon Limassol
Rennes 2-0 Astana
PAOK 1-3 BATE Borisov
Genk 4-0 Sarpsborg
Dynamo Kiev 0-1 Jablonec
Besiktas 0-1 Malmo
Akhisar Belerdiyespor 0-0 Standard Liege
Slavia Prague 2-0 Zenit Saint-Petersburg
Copenhagen 0-1 Bordeaux
Dinamo Zagreb 0-0 Anderlecht
Sporting Lisbon 3-0 Vorskla Poltava
F91 Dudelange 0-0 Real Betis
Ludogorets Razgrad 1-1 FC Zurich
AEK Larnaca 1-5 Bayer Leverkusen
Spartak Trnava 1-0 Fenerbahce

FIFA won’t be bound by politics over sharing Qatar World Cup

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Political tensions won’t prevent FIFA from deciding whether to place some World Cup games outside Qatar, the head of world soccer’s governing body said Thursday.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino used a summit of soccer nations in Qatar to gather support for his mission to add 16 teams to the 2022 tournament – a move that would require the tiny, energy-rich nation sharing games in the region.

[ MORE: Gerrard proud of Rangers in exit ]

That would be complicated by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cutting ties with Qatar in 2017 in an ongoing political dispute that prevents flights between Doha and the boycotting countries.

Qatar won a vote in 2010 to host the World Cup with 32 teams and is only building eight stadiums. A 48-team tournament is already planned for 2026 in the United States, Canada and Mexico, but Infantino wants to fast-track that expansion and add 16 more games for the first World Cup in the Middle East.

“Is it feasible to do it only in Qatar? Difficult probably,” Infantino said. “Is it feasible to have a few games being played in neighboring countries? Well, maybe this is an option, of course.

“I’m not that naive not to know not to read the news and not to know what is going on. But now we are in football, we are not in politics, and in football, sometimes the dreams come true.”

Given 32 teams compete for the World Cup and there are 211 nations in FIFA, adding more slots in 2022 is likely to be embraced by the members given they have already approved expansion of the event beginning in 2026.

Infantino used a trip to Doha in October to ask the emir of Qatar if he would consider allowing matches to be shared with nations that are part of an economic and travel boycott against his country.

“If there is something that I could do which is good for football worldwide, then we should look at it,” Infantino said at a news conference in Doha before heading to Abu Dhabi for the Club World Cup. “I have the chance and I’m lucky enough to be able to look into that without having to be bound by any political considerations, but looking at it from a purely sporting perspective.”

Infantino did use a speech to politicians at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina last month to discuss using the World Cup in 2022 to bring countries together by spreading games beyond Qatar.

The 2022 tournament is already being cramped into a 28-day window to minimize the disruption to top European leagues because it was moved from June and July to November and December due to the extreme heat.

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