Matchday 15 of the 2018 World Cup wraps up the group stage and completes the line-up for the last 16 ties.
While we already know the two teams through from Group G – England and Belgium – Group H’s games in the afternoon could be real thrillers.
Senegal and Japan are well-placed at the top of the pool on four points and need only avoid defeat in their respective matches to secure last 16 progression.
The ‘Samurai Blue’ will feel most comfortable ahead of their clash with already-eliminated Poland at the Volgograd Arena, while the ‘Teranga Lions’ face a tougher match against Colombia. The South Americans will advance if they win, while the West Africans (who carry the hopes of the African continent on their shoulders) need only avoid defeat to achieve their goal. Given that both teams have potent attacking power and resolute determination, their battle in Samara could well be the game to watch today.
The focus switches to Group G in the evening with two relatively low-stakes games. The meeting of England and Belgium looks very exciting in theory – with the pair scoring 16 goals between them so far – but given that both have already secured a place in the last 16, it’s likely we’ll see weakened line-ups at the Kaliningrad Stadium.
Over in Saransk, Panama and Tunisia will be looking to end their tournaments on a high and exit Russia 2018 with some pride restored, after both found themselves on the end of heavy defeats in their previous matches.
Matchday 15, Thursday 28 June – Fixtures
Group H – Senegal v Colombia – Cosmos Arena, Samara, 4pm CAT
Group H – Japan v Poland – Volgograd Arena, Volgograd, 4pm CAT
Group G – England v Belgium – Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad, 8pm CAT
Group G – Panama v Tunisia – Mordovia Arena, Saransk, 8pm CAT
The continent’s leading sports broadcaster will bring you Jay-Jay Okocha, Dwight Yorke and Owen Hargreaves in the studio, supplying their expert opinions on all the games.