PUBLISHED: 14:41 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:41 17 May 2018
The presenting teams have been revealed for football’s greatest tournament as the best players across the globe prepaer to descend on Russia for the FIFA World Cup 2018. But which channel will kick off the action for England?
The squads have been unveiled as both ITV and the BBC release details of their World Cup coverage in Russia this summer.
The BBC will kick off the Three Lions’ action by showing England’s opening two World Cup games against Tunisia and Panama, while ITV will screen the national team’s final Group G game against Belgium.
Leading the BBC presenting line-up is Gary Lineker, who will be joined in the studio by former England stars Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Phil Neville, Jermaine Jenas, Alex Scott, Danny Murphy and Martin Keown. With more than 600 appearances for their country and 125 goals between them, few are better placed to offer expert opinion throughout the tournament
A huge opening weekend on the BBC features Egypt v Uruguay, Spain v Portugal, Germany v Mexico and France v Australia. Audiences will get a first look at Mohammed Salah, Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andres Iniesta, Paul Pogba and defending champions Germany as they set the tone for what is sure to be a thrilling tournament. All of this is before Monday June 18 where group rivals Belgium take on Panama ahead of the game the nation will be waiting for: Tunisia v England.
Bringing international experience to the studio are some of the best players to have graced the world stage, including; former Germany striker and 1990 World Cup winner Jurgen Klinsmann, Ivory Coast’s all-time leading goal scorer Didier Drogba and Pablo Zabaleta, who starred for Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final.
Gabby Logan will deliver all of the updates, news and interviews from the England camp and games as the BBC’s dedicated Three Lions presenter during the competition. Dan Walker is also in Russia presenting at BBC’s live games, highlight shows and Football Focus specials.
From the World Cup preview on June 14 through to the final on July 15, 33 games are live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and streamed on BBC Sport online and BBC iPlayer, including England’s opening two group games against Tunisia (June 18) and Panama (June 24) – a ground-breaking moment for the BBC who have never before shown England’s first two games in a World Cup exclusively live. Highlights of our non-live games will be available on BBC One and selected games will be replayed on BBC Two throughout the tournament
On the eve of the Three Lions’ opening game, audiences can tune into BBC Two on Sunday, June 17 for Managing England: The Impossible Job and hear from England managers and decision makers who explain the unique role of being the manager – the pressures, prestige, glory and heartache that comes with having the hopes of the nation resting on their shoulders.
For ITV, joining presenter Mark Pougatch on the plane to Moscow to lend their experience and expertise to ITV’s tournament coverage will be Gary Neville and regular pundits Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane, Ian Wright and Lee Dixon as well as England women’s striker Eniola Aluko, former French international Patrice Evra, Celtic and Sweden legend Henrik Larsson, Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill, former Croatia and West Ham boss Slaven Bilic, and Euro 2016 final referee Mark Clattenburg.
Presenter Jacqui Oatley, reporters Gabriel Clarke and Seema Jaswal, commentators Clive Tyldesley, Sam Matterface, Jon Champion and Joe Speight as well as co-commentators Glenn Hoddle, Ally McCoist and Iain Dowie will also be on the ground and in the stadia throughout the tournament.
The tournament begins on ITV with coverage of the opening ceremony at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, followed by the opening match between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia on 14 June, along with England’s final group game against Belgium. A number of fixtures from the opening stages of the tournament will be shown on ITV, including all three of Brazil’s group games. ITV will have first and second pick of the round of 16 and first pick of the semi-finals. Both ITV and BBC, who share the coverage, will show the final.
Fixtures in Full:
Thursday, June 14 – Russia vs Saudi Arabia, ITV
Friday, June 15 – Egypt vs Uruguay, BBC
Friday, June 15 -Morocco vs Iran, ITV
Friday, June 15 – Portugal vs Spain, BBC
Saturday, June 16 – France vs Australia, BBC
Saturday, June 16 – Argentina vs Iceland, ITV
Saturday, June 16 – Peru vs Denmark, BBC
Saturday, June 16 – Croatia vs Nigeria, ITV
Sunday, June 17 – Costa Rica vs Serbia, ITV
Sunday, June 17 – Germany vs Mexico, BBC
Sunday, June 17 -Brazil vs Switzerland, ITV
Monday, June 18 – Sweden v Korea Republic, ITV
Monday, June 18 – Belgium vs Panama, BBC
Monday, June 18 – Tunisia vs England, BBC
Tuesday, June 19 – Poland vs Senegal, ITV
Tuesday, June 19 – Colombia vs Japan, BBC
Tuesday, June 19 – Russia vs Egypt, BBC
Wednesday, June 20 – Portugal vs Morocco, BBC
Wednesday, June 20 – Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia, BBC
Wednesday, June 20 – Iran vs Spain, ITV
Thursday, June 21 -France vs Peru, ITV
Thursday, June 21 – Denmark vs Australia, ITV
Thursday, June 21 – Argentina vs Croatia, BBC
Friday, June 22 – Brazil vs Costa Rica, ITV
Friday, June 22 – Nigeria vs Iceland, BBC
Friday, June 22 – Serbia vs Switzerland, BBC
Saturday, June 23 – Belgium vs Tunisia, BBC
Saturday, June 23 – Germany vs Sweden, ITV
Saturday, June 23 – Korea Republic vs Mexico, ITV
Sunday, June 24 – England vs Panama, BBC
Sunday, June 24 – Japan vs Senegal, BBC
Sunday, June 24 – Poland vs Colombia, ITV
Monday, June 25 – Uruguay vs Russia, ITV
Monday, June 25 – Saudi Arabia vs Egypt, ITV4
Monday, June 25 – Spain vs Morocco, BBC
Monday, June 25 – Iran vs Portugal, BBC
Tuesday, June 26 -Denmark vs France, ITV
Tuesday, June 26 – Australia vs Peru, ITV4
Tuesday, June 26 – Nigeria vs Argentina, BBC
Tuesday, June 26 – Iceland vs Croatia, BBC
Wednesday, June 27 – Korea Republic vs Germany, BBC
Wednesday, June 27 – Mexico vs Sweden, BBC
Wednesday, June 27 – Serbia vs Brazil, ITV
Wednesday, June 27 – Switzerland vs Costa Rica, ITV4
Thursday, June 28 – Japan vs Poland, BBC
Thursday, June 28 – Senegal vs Colombia, BBC
Thursday, June 28 – England vs Belgium, ITV
Thursday, June 28 – Panama vs Tunisia, ITV4