RUSSIA, here we come!
After a 3-1 win over Honduras, and the Socceroos are World Cup bound and now the planning begins — how will I get there? Where will the matches be played? Will there be tickets on offer?
Here is your Ultimate Guide to the Russia 2018 World Cup!
WHEN IS THE RUSSIA 2018 WORLD CUP?
The 2018 World Cup begins on June 14 (June 15 AEDT) and ends on July 15 (July 16 AEDT).
Group Stages: June 14 – June 28
Round of 16: June 30 – July 3
Quarter Finals: July 6 – July 7
Semi Finals: July 10 – July 11
Third place play-off: July 14
Final: July 15
WHERE ARE THE HOST CITIES/STADIUMS?
The World Cup games will be played in 11 cities and 12 stadiums. The final will played at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Five stadiums have been built new for the World Cup (denoted by an asterix), while Central Stadium (Yekaterinburg) and Volgograd Arena (Volgograd) have had renovations.
List of stadiums
– Luzhniki Stadium (Moscow): 81,000 capacity
– Krestovsky Stadium (Saint Petersburg): 68,134 capacity
– Fisht Olympic Stadium (Sochi): 47,659 capacity
– Volgograd Arena (Volgograd): 45,568 capacity
– Kazan Arena (Kazan): 45,379 capacity
– Otkrytiye Arena (Moscow): 45,360 capacity
– *Mordovia Arena (Saransk): 45,015
– *Rostov Arena (Rostov-on-Don): 45,000
– *Cosmos Arena (Samara): 44,918 capacity
– *Nizhny Novgorod Stadium (Nizhny Novgorod): 44,899 capacity
– Central Stadium (Yekaterinburg): 35,696 capacity
– *Kaliningrad Stadium (Kaliningrad): 35,212 capacity
HOW DO YOU GET TO RUSSIA?
Flights to Moscow from Sydney and Melbourne start at $2,200.
The duration of the trek varies considering stop off location and lengths, but can range from 23 hours to 33 hours.
Flights from Brisbane will set you back a minimum of $2,000 while flights from Perth are the cheapest (starting at $2,000) and the quickest (from 19 hours).
WHEN IS THE DRAW?
The World Cup draw will take place in Moscow on December 1 2017.
HOW DOES THE DRAW WORK?
The 32 teams will be split into four pots based on their FIFA World Rankings. Pot 1 contains hosts Russia and the top seven nations in the world. Pot 2, 3 and 4 will each feature the next eight best teams.
The draw then sorts the 23 teams into eight groups of four with each group containing one team from each of the four pots.
Each group players three matches before the top two nations advance to the knockout rounds.
WHO ELSE HAS QUALIFIED?
EUROPE: Russia (hosts), France, Portugal, Germany, Serbia, Poland, England, Spain, Belgium, Iceland, Switzerland, Croatia, Sweden
SOUTH AMERICA: Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia
CONCACAF: Mexica, Costa Rica, Panama
ASIA: Iran, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia
AFRICA: Tunisia, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, Egypt
WHAT ARE THE POTS?
POT 1: Russia (hosts), Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
POT 2: Spain, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia, Peru/Denmark
POT 3: Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran, Denmark/Serbia
POT 4: Nigeria, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Australia/Honduras, Serbia/New Zealand
WHAT IS AN IDEAL DRAW?
The ideal draw for the Socceroos would involve drawing Russia from Pot 1. From Pot two, the lowest ranked nation at this stage is Denmark (although if Peru qualify on Thursday, Croatia are the next lowest ranked).
From Pot 3, Serbia or Senegal would be best case scenario (considering the Socceroos cannot draw Iran).
WHEN DO THE TICKETS GO ON SALE?
There are three sales phases for World Cup tickets, and the first one has already concluded.
In the first two phases, supporters can apply request tickets on a Random Selection Draw basis. Fans can choose tickets based on the date and venue of a match OR they choose tickets to follow a specific team.
After the successful ticket applications are revealed, fans can purchase the remaining tickets on a First Come First Served basis.
There is also a Last Minute Sales phase that will run until the final day of the World Cup.
Sales Phase 1
Random Selection Draw: September 14 – October 12 2017
First Come First Served: November 16 – November 28 2017
Sales Phase 2
Random Selection Draw: December 5 – January 31 2018
First Come First Served: March 13 – April 3 2018
Last Minute Sales Phase
April 18 – July 15 2018
WHO ARE THE BIG NAMES TO MISS OUT?
Italy made headlines on Tuesday AEDT by falling to Sweden in the play-off stage. They joined the likes of the Netherlands and Chile as the big nations not to reach the final 32.
Other notable absentees will be the USA, Cameroon (current African champions), Ivory Coast and Ghana (who were both at the 2014 edition).
Other countries from Europe not to qualify include: Wales, Czech Republic, Austria, Scotland and Greece.
WHO ARE THE FAVOURITES TO WIN?
Defending champions Germany are the favourites in the early betting market while Brazil and France, who qualified in dominant fashion, are close behind. The early contenders for whipping boys include Tunisia and Panama and Saudi Arabia.
Here are the betting odds to win the World Cup.
-Germany – $5.50
– Brazil – $6.00
– France – $6.50
– Spain – $8.00
– Argentina – $8.50
– Belgium – $12.00
– England – $19.00
– Portugal – $21.00
– Croatia, Colombia – $31.00
– Russia – $34.00
– Uruguay – $36.00
– Sweden, Poland – $46.00
– Switzerland, Denmark, Mexico – $61.00
– Serbia – $76.00
– Iceland – $101.00
– Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt – $151.00
– Australia, Japan, Morocco – $201.00
– Iran – $226.00
– South Korea – $276.00
– Costa Rica – $301.00
– Tunisia, Panama, Saudi Arabia – $501.00
WHERE DID AUSTRALIA PLAY BEFORE?
The Socceroos played in Russia for the 2017 Confederations Cup, which gave the support team a chance to scout venues, locations to stay and train.
The four venues and host cities for the Confeds Cup were:
– Saint Petersburg: Krestovsky Stadium (68,134 capacity)
– Kazan: Kazan Arena (45,379 capacity)
– Moscow: Spartak Stadium (45,360 capacity)
– Sochi: Fisht Stadium (47,659 capacity)
Australia played their matches in Sochi (vs Germany), Saint Petersburg (vs Cameroon) and Moscow (vs Chile).
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