Breaking news

sport news World Cup 2018: The five biggest group stage matches

The 32 countries contesting next summer's World Cup in Russia learned their group stage fate on Friday afternoon as the draw was held at the Kremlin in Moscow. 

England manager Gareth Southgate will be happy with his side's draw, which sees them paired alongside fellow Europeans Belgium, World Cup debutants Panama and 1998 group stage opponents Tunisia.

But while all of England's games will be a must watch, what other fixtures should football fans mark in their diaries? Sportsmail picks out five group stage fixtures every football fan can't afford to miss...

The draw for World Cup 2018 to place in the Kremlin, Moscow, on Friday evening

The draw for World Cup 2018 to place in the Kremlin, Moscow, on Friday evening

England manager Gareth Southgate watches on in the crowd as their fate is decided

England manager Gareth Southgate watches on in the crowd as their fate is decided

Russia vs Saudi Arabia - Group A

14 June, 4pm - Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow

GROUP A

RUSSIA 

SAUDI ARABIA 

EGYPT 

URUGUAY 

As tradition dictates, the hosts will contest the opening game of the World Cup and it will come complete with the opening ceremony at the spectacular Luzhniki Stadium, which will also host the final a month later.

Expect an incredible show from the host nation and a fantastic atmosphere throughout the match.

With Saudi Arabia and Russia making up the two lowest ranked sides in the competition, it is certainly not the glamour tie that organisers would have hoped for but represents a realistic chance for the hosts to get off to a winning start.

Portugal vs Spain - Group B

15 June, 7pm - Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi

GROUP B

PORTUGAL 

SPAIN 

MOROCCO 

IRAN 

The reigning European champions will face their neighbours in the opening round of fixtures in Group B in what represents the first true heavyweight clash at next summer's World Cup.

Having won their first major title at Euro 2016 last summer, a Portugal side likely to be lead by Cristiano Ronaldo will go into the fixture with their tails up.

Spain, on the other hand, have suffered a decline from the dizzy heights that saw them win two European Championships and a World Cup in the space of

read more from dailymail.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV sport news World Cup 2018 fixtures, groups including full schedule
NEXT sport news Sam Allardyce's assistant Sammy Lee poses in Everton gear