As Japan joined Saudi Arabia in inflicting a shock World Cup result on opponents fancied for the title, the final day of round one action gets underway in Qatar. City A.M. looks at today’s games and what’s at stake.
Group G: Switzerland v Cameroon, ITV
Having reached the last 16 in the previous two World Cups, Switzerland – captained by Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka – kick off the day against Cameroon in the first ever meeting between the sides. The former Africa Cup of Nations champions include the likes of Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo and will look to be the first side from their continent to win a match in Qatar.
Group H: Uruguay v South Korea, BBC
The first ever World Cup winners, Uruguay, play South Korea, whose fourth place in 2002 is the best finish of any Asian nation, in Group H’s opener. Uruguay, with Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez a doubt, haven’t been past the quarter-finals since their second title in 1950 while South Korea, spearheaded by Tottenham’s Son Heung-min, are aiming to avoid a third consecutive group stage exit.
Group H: Portugal v Ghana, ITV
Portugal’s talisman hasn’t even kicked a ball yet but he’s all over the back pages. Club-less Cristiano Ronaldo’s side will look to topple Ghana in their Group H tie. This is Ghana’s fourth World Cup and they’ll be hoping to match their 2010 result of reaching the quarter-finals. Arsenal’s Thomas Partey, Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey and Crystal Palace’s Jordan Ayew could feature for the Black Stars today.
Group G: Brazil v Serbia, BBC
The bookies’ favourites and five-time winners Brazil play the final round one match at this World Cup. Boating the attacking talents of Neymar and Vinicius, Tite’s team face a Serbia side captained by former Southampton man Dusan Tadic and featuring Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic but who are yet to progress beyond the group stage in their 16 years as an independent state.