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3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
World Cup 2018, Argentina vs Iceland: live score and latest updates
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
World Cup 2018, Argentina vs Iceland: live score and latest updates
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
World Cup 2018, Argentina vs Iceland: live score and latest updates
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
World Cup 2018, Argentina vs Iceland: live score and latest updates
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
World Cup 2018, Argentina vs Iceland: live score and latest updates
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
World Cup 2018, Argentina vs Iceland: live score and latest updates
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
World Cup 2018, Argentina vs Iceland: live score and latest updates
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
World Cup 2018, Argentina vs Iceland: live score and latest updates
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
World Cup 2018, Argentina vs Iceland: live score and latest updates
3:49PM 90 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Five minutes added on. Five minutes for Iceland to weather the storm. 3:47PM 89 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Finnbogason is struggling with cramp. He'll be replaced by Sigurdarson. 3:47PM 87 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What a save from Halldorsson, as Pavon's cross misses everyone and looks like it's going to sneak inside the far post, but the keeper flings himself left to turn it away. Mascherano then shoots straight at the Halldorsson from 25 yards. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:43PM 84 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another Argentina sub: Higuain replaces Meza. Aguero, Messi and Higuain all on the pitch now. Can Iceland hold out? 3:42PM 82 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's getting scrappy - there a lots of tired legs out there, and Argentina break towards goal, losing the ball and winning it back a couple of times. Messi loses it, Meza gets it back. Messi gets a yard on the edge of the box, it opens up for him, is this the moment? He moves onto his left and bends towards goal, the keeper is sprawling right, flings himself towards his post, but the balls sails wide. Iceland survive. 3:39PM 80 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi pulls off the shoulder of the last defenders, pulls the ball down beautifully, but it just won't drop quickly enough for him and an Iceland toe nips in to take it away from him before he can shoot. Argentina have had more than enough chances, but it remains level in Moscow. 10 minutes left for either team to find a winner. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 3:37PM 77 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Pavon is straight in the action - and he goes down in the box! Huge penalty appeal, the referee says no, but is that only because he has already given them one? Replays show there was definitely a touch, but the VAR isn't even consulted. It's a strange one, this. Not clear and obvious enough to overturn, presumably.. Big, big call. 3:35PM 75 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 More pressure from Argentina; they are turning the screw but no breakthrough yet. Some subs: Cristian Pavon replaces Angel Di Maria for Argentina. Ari Skulson comes on for Aron Gunnarsson for Iceland. 3:31PM 70 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 It's all Argentina at the moment (maybe Iceland are tiring, after all) and the Icelandics just can't get out of their half. A free-kick deep in their own territory provides some respite but they cannot get the ball to stick up top and Argentina come again. Messi tries to work it onto his left on the edge of the box but just can't lose his marker. The ball eventually falls to Banega but his curling effort is easily saved. 3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
World Cup 2018, Argentina vs Iceland: live score and latest updates
3:26PM 67 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi sends a free-kick over the bar, Iceland race up the other end and win a corner, but it comes to nothing. What a game this is. 3:26PM 65 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi has a history of missing penalties in big moments (see Chelsea 2012 Champions League semi-final, for example), and he's done it again here. It was a decent save but a really poor penalty if you're the best player the world has ever seen. Attempt Saved: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Lionel Messi, 64 min) Gislason replaced Gudmundsson sometime during all that drama. 3:23PM MESSI MISSES THE PENALTY! Halldorsson guesses the right way and Messi's penalty is poor! He palms away and it remains 1-1! 3:22PM Penalty to Argentina! Messi lofts the ball into the box and Magnusson is the wrong side of an Argentina forward. He brings him down and the ref points to the spot! 3:21PM 62 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A sad sight for Iceland (and Burnley) as Joey Gudmundsson slumps to the turf before limping off injured. He will be replaced shortly, but for now Iceland are playing with 10. 3:19PM 59 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi breaks into some space in midfield, and feeds Banega to his left. He winds up from 25 yards but Ragnar Sigurdsson flies in to block heroically. What a challenge. It's hard to see how these Icelandic players aren't tiring. The work they are putting in is astonishing. 3:16PM 56 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi is growing into this, and he very nearly manages to shake off the two, three, four, maybe five players snapping at his heels on the edge of the Iceland box. He can't quite do it alone, and feeds Aguero, but he has two men on him quickly and the chance is snuffed out. 3:13PM 53 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina are probing, patiently passing back and forth, across the pitch, but for now at least, they can't find a way through. Manager Jorge Sampaoli decides he needs a bit more creativity in midfield, bringing Ever Banega, more of a No 10, on for Lucas Biglia. 3:09PM 49 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Lovely, lovely move from Iceland, with Gunnarsson winning possession in the middle, before feeding Finngobason, who lays off to Bjarnason. He combines well with Sigurdsson but the cross into the box is too high for Finnbogason. 3:07PM 47 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Argentina start the second period the way they began the first: on the front foot. Di Maria wins an early corner from which Otamendi heads over. 3:04PM Here goes with the second half Argentina get the second half under way. 3:04PM Maradona is smoking a cigar while he watches From a local colleague... Diego Maradona watching Argentina inside the Spartak stadium casually smoking a cigar. pic.twitter.com/5lg052xa2X— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) June 16, 2018 3:03PM The viking clap has been in full swing Iceland's fans have been in fine voice Credit: AP 2:50PM Half time - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 What. A. Half. We all knew what Iceland were capable of but still I don't know how many people could have predicted this. They are so far from a limited, defensive side. This is a team who do the basics brilliantly but they are not at all scared to have a go. Aguero put Argentina ahead with a great strike, but Iceland hit straight back and have come the closer to taking the lead since. Gripping stuff. Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:47PM 45 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland line up another long throw, but take it short. Then, Arnason's long, raking ball into the box is taken down outstandingly by Finnbogason. He spots Sigurdsson ghosting into the box, and the Everton man dances between two defenders, opens his body up and caresses an effort towards the far corner, but Caballero gets down to save well. 30 seconds later, he sends a volley wide of the post from the edge of the box. Miss: Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 45 + 1 min) 2:45PM 44 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Iceland load the box for another long throw. Otamendi clears, and Messi has the chance to counter... but his first touch, incredibly, lets him down. 2:43PM 42 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Another penalty shout - the Argentina players surround the referee, sure that the ball has hit Magnusson's arm as he slides in. Replays show it did but that would be so, so harsh to give. No penalty. Again. 2:42PM 40 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A tame penalty shout as Biglia goes down in the box under Ragnar Sigurdsson's challenge, the VAR has a look at it but rightly, no penalty given. 2:38PM 37 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Messi demands the ball off Rojo from two yards away, when there really looks like there's no need for a pass, but Messi knows what he's doing - even under pressure he pokes the ball around the defender on his shoulder and looks for it back quickly from Aguero. The City forward's pass is just too far ahead of Messi, though. 2:36PM 34 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Otamendi has his critics in England but his distribution is up there with the best centre-backs in the game. This time he clips a ball over Iceland left back Magnusson and so, so nearly into the path of Meza who has made a run in behind. It just doesn't come off, but that ball is on today. 2:33PM 33 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Diego Armando Maradona is in attendance at the Spartak Stadium. The man Messi is hoping to emulate in Russia Credit: AFP Lucas Biglia shoots over the from the edge of the box. Messi looks on unimpressed that the ball didn't come his way. 2:31PM 30 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Di Maria and Gudmundsson have to be separated by the referee after a bit of handbags over a ball that had gone out of play. Tasty. 2:30PM 29 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Bold early shout from our man Ben Rumsby: Am going to put my neck on the block and write off #ARG for the #WorldCup— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 16, 2018 2:28PM 26 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 1 A couple of Argentina corners, the second of which Otamendi heads at goal but it's an easy save for Halldorsson. 2:24PM GOOOOOOOALLL!!! Iceland are level!!! Chaos at the back for Argentina and Finnbogason pokes home! Argentina get themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back and just cannot clear their lines. Sigurdsson gets two bites of the cherry to deliver from the right and the second one, drilled in low, is parried by Caballero but only as far as Alfred Finnbogason, who makes no mistake from six yards out. Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland (Alfred Finnbogason, 23 min) 2:23PM 21 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 Messi tests Halldorsson again, curling one from just outside the area but from an unfavourable angle, and the keeper holds onto it with some ease. 2:22PM 19 mins - Argentina 1 Iceland 0 (Aguero) Argentina Rojo tries a long-distance strike but doesn't get hold of it, Aguero reacts quickest inside the box, and brings the ball under control immediately. He has his back to goal, and has white shirts around him. One touch out of his feet takes him away from his marker, and in the blink of an eye he unleashes a crackerjack of a left-footed shot into the top corner at the near post. Lovely strike. Argentina 1 - 0 Iceland (Sergio Agüero, 19 min) 2:19PM GOOOOOOOOOAALLL!!! Sergio Aguero puts Argentina in front! 2:19PM 17 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 We have our first shot on target and it is that man, Messi. Iceland haven't given him much chance so far but he is so clever at finding space. He picks the ball up outside the area, skips a challenge to create a yard of space on his left and lets fly. It stings the hands of Halldorsson but he'd have been disappointed not to keep that one out. 2:14PM 13 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Messi is already dropping really, really deep to get the ball. His movement creates space further forward for Otamendi to step into. He shoots optimistically from 30 yards but blazes his shot well over. Very good start to this game in Moscow. Iceland certainly aren't planning on sitting back. 2:13PM 10 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Huge chance at the other end for Iceland! Argentina are caught out trying to pass their way out of trouble and Caballero has to lunge in to intercept at the feet of Finnbogason. His clearance is poor, though, and falls to a white shirt in Bjarnason, but he can only drill wide of the target. A massive opportunity goes begging. Miss: Argentina 0 - 0 Iceland (Birkir Bjarnason, 9 min) 2:10PM 9 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal - this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide. 2:08PM 8 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 How much longer will things look like this? Argentina vs Iceland shots on goal 2:05PM 4 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal. 2:04PM 3 mins - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 After that surprising early shot for Iceland we have very swiftly settled into the pattern of the day: Argentina are having all of the ball, Iceland are deep, back in their own half, hassling energetically whenever the ball comes forward. A bit too energetically, though, with a free-kick conceded on the left-hand touchline 35 yards from goal. Messi is over it. 2:01PM 1 min - Argentina 0 Iceland 0 14 seconds in and we have our first shot of the match as Gylfi Sigurdsson drags his effort wide of the target. Positive stuff early on. 2:00PM Iceland get the match started Can Lionel Messi do it on a warm, dry afternoon in Moscow, with the world watching? Or will Iceland add Argentina to their impressive list of coups? Let's find out. 1:57PM The Spartak Stadium is rocking It's an incredible atmosphere in Moscow. The Argentina fans are full of confidence, Iceland's really do believe an upset could happen. National anthem time, and Caballero looks like Messi has said something mean to him. He has turned his back on his captain. Kick off is a couple of minutes away. 1:48PM Any Argentine weaknesses? Oh, but of course. In qualifying they won only seven out of 18 matches and just scraped through thanks to a Messi hat-trick in the high altitude surroundings of Ecuador's Quito when it really counted. We all know what Messi, Aguero and Di Maria can do, but in deeper positions they are far wearker. Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano start in central midfield for Argentina Credit: Getty images 34-year-old Javier Mascherano plays in central midfield today, while the error-prone Marcos Rojo is at centre-back alongside the much-improved but still sometimes pretty erratic Nicolas Otamendi. There are mistakes in this side. 1:33PM Everyone's an Iceland fan today, right? Even though they embarrassed England in France two years ago, we've all forgiven Iceland and are right behind them here. Yes, it would be great to see Messi give his best response to Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible hat-trick last night, but perhaps equally wonderful would be a scrappy, ugly 1-0 smash-and-grab win for the underdogs, wouldn't it? Just call me Scrooge. 1:22PM Just some of the players NOT starting for Argentina today Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Giovani Lo Celso (of PSG) and Ever Banega. Plenty of firepower in reserve, then, Gonzalo Higuain only makes the bench Credit: Getty images 1:19PM The teams Argentina: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero Iceland: Halldorsson; Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson; Bjarnason, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gudmundsson; Finnbogason, Sigurdsson 1:13PM Chris Bascombe's interview with Gylfi Sigurdsson Ahead of today's game, check out this interview with Iceland's star man, who is fully of the belief that Iceland have no reason to fear Argentina... or anyone at the World Cup for that matter. 12:55PM Looking forward to the 2018 World Cup's first viking clap The Iceland fans were great fun in France at Euro 2016, and they'll be enjoying themselves in Russia today. Iceland fans in Moscow Credit: Getty images 12:39PM Here we, here we, here we go It's such a good day of football today - four great games and just so much to get excited about, but this one is the game of the day in my opinion, and I'm chuffed to have been given the privilege of providing live updates from the game. Iceland, who, of course, dumped Roy Hodgson's England out of Euro 2016, will play their first ever World Cup match against non other than Lionel Messi's Argentina. Iceland is the smallest nation ever (in terms of population) to qualify for the World Cup, but this wonderful team has bags of potential and given what they have achieved in the last four years they have no reason to fear anyone. Lionel Messi is chasing a first World Cup medal Credit: AFP They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. It could be a frustrating day for Leo and co. but that is taking nothing away from Iceland, who can't really be expected to come out and attack and leave themselves open (hello, Saudi Arabia). The problem for Iceland is that once you take care of Messi, you still have Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and the rest to worry about. Argentina's worry, though, is that their defence isn't up to much. They had a terrible time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back. They have far better players than Iceland, but I don't think anyone should be expecting a completely one-sided affair.
Argentina vs Iceland: live score updates Here we take a look at Iceland's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know. Iceland's World Cup squad - the 23 names Hannes Thor Halldorsson, Runar Alex Runarsson, Frederik Schram; Kari Arnason, Ari Freyr Skulason, Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Sverrir Ingi Ingason, Hordur Magnusson, Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson; Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Arnor Ingvi Traustason, Emil Hallfredsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Olafur Ingi Skulason, Rurik Gislason, Samuel Fridjonsson, Aron Gunnarsson; Alfred Finnbogason, Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Albert Gudmundsson. Iceland fans are optimistic of another upset Credit: julian simmonds Iceland's World Cup 2018 fixtures Argentina: Saturday, June 16 at 2pm Nigeria: Friday, June 22 at 4pm Croatia: Tuesday, June 26 at 7pm What odds are Iceland to win the World Cup? 200/1 The kits See where Iceland's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Heimir Hallgrímsson, who was the joint-manager at Euro 2016 alongside Lars Lagerbäck, and is now the top man on the island. And works as a dentist. Who's the star? Gylfi Sigurdsson is without a doubt the class act, but the Everton man has not played since March with a knee injury. Worth the gamble. Best thing about them Heart, teamwork, unity, beards. The smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup will give it their all and are not to be underestimated. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more Worst thing about them It's all good, surely? Just a shame for Iceland that their international bunny, England, are not an opponent. You may recognise... Premier League/Championship battlers Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Burnley), Birkir Bjarnason (Aston Villa), Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) and Hordur Magnusson (Bristol City). Cameramen will be picking out... Supporter mixture of large, bearded men with horn hats, and beautiful girls with face paint. TV directors' dream. Fans' favourite chant HOOOOOOOO!!!!! Accompanied by slow, joyous, intimidating thunderclaps. The best. On-field prediction Group stages. Cannot see them beating Argentina but could upset Croatia or Nigeria. Off-field prediction Surely favourites to be everyone's second favourite team? HOOOOOOOO!!!!! World Cup 2018 | All you need to know WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Iceland World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Argentina vs Iceland: live score updates Here we take a look at Iceland's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know. Iceland's World Cup squad - the 23 names Hannes Thor Halldorsson, Runar Alex Runarsson, Frederik Schram; Kari Arnason, Ari Freyr Skulason, Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Sverrir Ingi Ingason, Hordur Magnusson, Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson; Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Arnor Ingvi Traustason, Emil Hallfredsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Olafur Ingi Skulason, Rurik Gislason, Samuel Fridjonsson, Aron Gunnarsson; Alfred Finnbogason, Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Albert Gudmundsson. Iceland fans are optimistic of another upset Credit: julian simmonds Iceland's World Cup 2018 fixtures Argentina: Saturday, June 16 at 2pm Nigeria: Friday, June 22 at 4pm Croatia: Tuesday, June 26 at 7pm What odds are Iceland to win the World Cup? 200/1 The kits See where Iceland's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Heimir Hallgrímsson, who was the joint-manager at Euro 2016 alongside Lars Lagerbäck, and is now the top man on the island. And works as a dentist. Who's the star? Gylfi Sigurdsson is without a doubt the class act, but the Everton man has not played since March with a knee injury. Worth the gamble. Best thing about them Heart, teamwork, unity, beards. The smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup will give it their all and are not to be underestimated. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more Worst thing about them It's all good, surely? Just a shame for Iceland that their international bunny, England, are not an opponent. You may recognise... Premier League/Championship battlers Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Burnley), Birkir Bjarnason (Aston Villa), Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) and Hordur Magnusson (Bristol City). Cameramen will be picking out... Supporter mixture of large, bearded men with horn hats, and beautiful girls with face paint. TV directors' dream. Fans' favourite chant HOOOOOOOO!!!!! Accompanied by slow, joyous, intimidating thunderclaps. The best. On-field prediction Group stages. Cannot see them beating Argentina but could upset Croatia or Nigeria. Off-field prediction Surely favourites to be everyone's second favourite team? HOOOOOOOO!!!!! World Cup 2018 | All you need to know WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Argentina vs Iceland: live score updates Here we take a look at Iceland's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know. Iceland's World Cup squad - the 23 names Hannes Thor Halldorsson, Runar Alex Runarsson, Frederik Schram; Kari Arnason, Ari Freyr Skulason, Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Sverrir Ingi Ingason, Hordur Magnusson, Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson; Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Arnor Ingvi Traustason, Emil Hallfredsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Olafur Ingi Skulason, Rurik Gislason, Samuel Fridjonsson, Aron Gunnarsson; Alfred Finnbogason, Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Albert Gudmundsson. Iceland fans are optimistic of another upset Credit: julian simmonds Iceland's World Cup 2018 fixtures Argentina: Saturday, June 16 at 2pm Nigeria: Friday, June 22 at 4pm Croatia: Tuesday, June 26 at 7pm What odds are Iceland to win the World Cup? 200/1 The kits See where Iceland's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Heimir Hallgrímsson, who was the joint-manager at Euro 2016 alongside Lars Lagerbäck, and is now the top man on the island. And works as a dentist. Who's the star? Gylfi Sigurdsson is without a doubt the class act, but the Everton man has not played since March with a knee injury. Worth the gamble. Best thing about them Heart, teamwork, unity, beards. The smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup will give it their all and are not to be underestimated. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more Worst thing about them It's all good, surely? Just a shame for Iceland that their international bunny, England, are not an opponent. You may recognise... Premier League/Championship battlers Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Burnley), Birkir Bjarnason (Aston Villa), Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) and Hordur Magnusson (Bristol City). Cameramen will be picking out... Supporter mixture of large, bearded men with horn hats, and beautiful girls with face paint. TV directors' dream. Fans' favourite chant HOOOOOOOO!!!!! Accompanied by slow, joyous, intimidating thunderclaps. The best. On-field prediction Group stages. Cannot see them beating Argentina but could upset Croatia or Nigeria. Off-field prediction Surely favourites to be everyone's second favourite team? HOOOOOOOO!!!!! World Cup 2018 | All you need to know WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Iceland World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Argentina vs Iceland: live score updates Here we take a look at Iceland's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know. Iceland's World Cup squad - the 23 names Hannes Thor Halldorsson, Runar Alex Runarsson, Frederik Schram; Kari Arnason, Ari Freyr Skulason, Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Sverrir Ingi Ingason, Hordur Magnusson, Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson; Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Arnor Ingvi Traustason, Emil Hallfredsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Olafur Ingi Skulason, Rurik Gislason, Samuel Fridjonsson, Aron Gunnarsson; Alfred Finnbogason, Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Albert Gudmundsson. Iceland fans are optimistic of another upset Credit: julian simmonds Iceland's World Cup 2018 fixtures Argentina: Saturday, June 16 at 2pm Nigeria: Friday, June 22 at 4pm Croatia: Tuesday, June 26 at 7pm What odds are Iceland to win the World Cup? 200/1 The kits See where Iceland's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Heimir Hallgrímsson, who was the joint-manager at Euro 2016 alongside Lars Lagerbäck, and is now the top man on the island. And works as a dentist. Who's the star? Gylfi Sigurdsson is without a doubt the class act, but the Everton man has not played since March with a knee injury. Worth the gamble. Best thing about them Heart, teamwork, unity, beards. The smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup will give it their all and are not to be underestimated. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more Worst thing about them It's all good, surely? Just a shame for Iceland that their international bunny, England, are not an opponent. You may recognise... Premier League/Championship battlers Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Burnley), Birkir Bjarnason (Aston Villa), Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) and Hordur Magnusson (Bristol City). Cameramen will be picking out... Supporter mixture of large, bearded men with horn hats, and beautiful girls with face paint. TV directors' dream. Fans' favourite chant HOOOOOOOO!!!!! Accompanied by slow, joyous, intimidating thunderclaps. The best. On-field prediction Group stages. Cannot see them beating Argentina but could upset Croatia or Nigeria. Off-field prediction Surely favourites to be everyone's second favourite team? HOOOOOOOO!!!!! World Cup 2018 | All you need to know WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
The World Cup of 2018 is under way and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
The World Cup of 2018 is under way and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
The World Cup of 2018 is under way and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
The World Cup of 2018 is under way and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
The World Cup of 2018 is under way and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
The World Cup of 2018 is under way and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
The World Cup of 2018 is under way and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
The World Cup of 2018 is under way and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
The World Cup of 2018 is under way and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
The World Cup of 2018 is under way and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
The World Cup of 2018 is under way and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
The World Cup of 2018 is under way and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
The World Cup has arrived and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: Match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
The World Cup has arrived and the England squad - picked, according to Gareth Southgate, to excite the nation - are preparing for a group that includes a favourite, an undefeated qualifier and a team that provided one of the stories of the tournament just by qualifying. When Southgate revealed his 23-man squad much of the focus landed on Adam Lallana, the big-name omission, who had to make do with the standby list. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
The World Cup has arrived, England's World Cup 2018 squad have arrived in Russia - and Gareth Southgate has claimed it has been picked to excite the nation at this summer’s tournament. Manager Southgate revealed his 23-man squad with Adam Lallana, who is on the standby list, the big-name omission. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 As revealed by Telegraph Sport earlier today, Gary Cahill is part of the squad and Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
The World Cup has arrived, England's World Cup 2018 squad have arrived in Russia - and Gareth Southgate has claimed it has been picked to excite the nation at this summer’s tournament. Manager Southgate revealed his 23-man squad with Adam Lallana, who is on the standby list, the big-name omission. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 As revealed by Telegraph Sport earlier today, Gary Cahill is part of the squad and Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
The World Cup has arrived, England's World Cup 2018 squad have arrived in Russia - and Gareth Southgate has claimed it has been picked to excite the nation at this summer’s tournament. Manager Southgate revealed his 23-man squad with Adam Lallana, who is on the standby list, the big-name omission. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 As revealed by Telegraph Sport earlier today, Gary Cahill is part of the squad and Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
England World Cup 2018 guide: match dates, squad, fixtures and group analysis
The World Cup has arrived, England's World Cup 2018 squad have arrived in Russia - and Gareth Southgate has claimed it has been picked to excite the nation at this summer’s tournament. Manager Southgate revealed his 23-man squad with Adam Lallana, who is on the standby list, the big-name omission. But Southgate believes, with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, his young England squad offers plenty of encouragement. “I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about,” said Southgate. “We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop. “It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.” Dreamt of going to a World Cup since I was a kid. Today that dream come true, an honour to represent the 3 Lions this summer! �� @Englandpic.twitter.com/e6c8agtVar— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 16, 2018 As revealed by Telegraph Sport earlier today, Gary Cahill is part of the squad and Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. Who made England's 23-man squad? Here's who will feature in England's World Cup squad: Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley). Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea). Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal). Standby: Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jake Livermore (West Brom), James Tarkowski (Burnley). Gareth Southgate decided to leave Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere at home and has picked a squad heavily-loaded with defenders, reflective of his desire to play with three centre-backs and wing-backs. Trent-Alexander-Arnold could win his first England in Russia while the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek also speaks to Southgate's bold approach. Harry Kane will captain the side. Who is in your starting team? England Formation Builder Who is in England's group? England are in Group G alongside Belgium, Tunisia and Panama. Belgium: One of the favourites for the competition with a dazzling array of talent. England will be familiar with most of their key players: Thibuat Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku among others, all play in the Premier League. England's toughest opponent by a distance. Tunisia: Potentially tricky opposition who will look to frustrate England. Were unbeaten in qualifying and Sunderland winger Wahbi Khazri could be a danger man. Nevertheless, a team England should beat if they have aspirations to reach the latter stages. Panama: One of the stories of the tournament, having qualified for the finals for the first time in dramatic fashion. England will be heavy favorites to swat them aside. When do England play? Monday June 18 Tunisia vs England (Volgograd), 7pm BST. Sunday June 24 England vs Panama (Nizhny Novgorod), 1pm BST. Thursday June 28 England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad), 7pm BST. Should England progress from their group, their last-16 match will be on Monday July 2 (if they win the group) or Tuesday July 2 (if they finish runners-up in the group). Should England progress beyond that stage, their quarter-final will either be: Friday 6 July Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm BST. OR Saturday 7 July Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm BST. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more And the rest... Semi-finals Tuesday 10 July Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm BST. Wednesday 11 July Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm BST. Third place play-off Saturday 14 July Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm BST. Final Sunday 15 July Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm BST. How will England line-up - and what are their tactics? JJ Bull explains how crucial the wing-backs will be to Gareth Southgate's campaign in Russia. What happened in 2014? England were eliminated in the group stages with just one point and two goals to show from their two games. They were beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening game despite an encouraging performance, before Luis Suarez's goal confirmed their exit in the second match against Uruguay. A dead rubber against Costa Rica finished goalless. What is Gareth Southgate saying? “The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks,” said Southgate. “We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum. “The first call up for Trent Alexander-Arnold is well deserved. When we pick young players, it’s not just because they are young, it’s because their performances deserve it. “We’ve also had a couple of injuries with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, which is a huge blow for them personally and disappointing for us.” Adam Lallana was omitted after missing most of the season through injury Credit: Getty images Goalkeeper Joe Hart, midfielder Jack Wilshere and left-back Ryan Bertrand have all been omitted and not placed on Southgate’s five-man standby list that includes Lallana, Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore James Tarkowski and Lewis Cook. “Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they’re not decisions we took lightly. I could’ve had easier conversations by keeping them involved,” said Southgate, whose goalkeepers are Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope. “With Joe, we’ve got three other goalkeepers who have had very good seasons and the decision I was faced with was do I keep Joe in and have experience around the group? Or give the three guys who have basically had a better season a chance? We felt the players all needed to be in on merit after their performances this season. “Ryan is also very unfortunate in that it’s probably one of the strongest positions we have. Ryan has had a decent season, but I just felt the others were ahead of him. Southgate says the three goalkeepers he chose have had 'better seasons' than Hart Credit: Getty images “Both calls were really tough. They’re both good guys and have contributed a lot throughout qualification, so it wasn’t an enjoyable part of the job and I feel it’s important to acknowledge their contribution in getting us to Russia.” Lallana has not started a Liverpool game since the beginning of March and Southgate has decided the 30-year-old cannot be risked. He is on Southgate’s list of standbys in case of injuries, but Lallana will be devastated not to be among the 23 players guaranteed a place on the plane. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article Southgate tried to offer some consolation by saying: “History tells us that one of those standby players may end up in the squad, as it’s very unusual for us to get through the end of the season and our two preparation games without any issues. “All of the guys on standby have been really professional in their approach to this. They recognise there’s still an opportunity and we’ve had a lot of conversations over a period of time with them about their situation.” And here is how the squad was announced on May 16: 3:47PM Wonder what the voicemail said... The one call you don’t want to miss!!...���� #WC2018pic.twitter.com/thH8CvavWA— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) May 16, 2018 3:33PM You picked largely the same players as Southgate Telegraph readers agree with all but three of Southgate’s choices Using our unique squad selector tool over the last few months, our readers chose their preferred 23 England players to go to Russia. As it turns out, more than 50 per cent of you wanted 20 of Southgate's 23 on the plane. The majority of you, however, did not pick Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Danny Welbeck or Fabian Delph. 3:24PM An inexperienced squad The 23 players have just 449 caps between them - an average of 19.5, which isn't very many at all. They also have just three tournament goals between the lot of them: Danny Welbeck at Euro 2012, and Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier at Euro 2016. Maybe Southgate is taking Gary Linker's advice and building for future competitions. 3:11PM Dele's excited It's an honour to be named in the England squad for the World Cup. It's a dream come true! Get me to Russia!! ��⚽️ #WorldCuppic.twitter.com/D8EjN8z5EI— Dele (@dele_official) May 16, 2018 3:05PM Ashley Young achieves a dream Maybe this picture said I was gonna live my dream and go to a World Cup... dreams do come true ���������� pic.twitter.com/kSM8VORdp0— Ashley Young (@youngy18) May 16, 2018 2:58PM Nawwww Congratulations to @Popey1992 on his call up to the @England World Cup 2018 squad, from Ram Meadow to Russia. pic.twitter.com/mpGWMyXB2v— Bury Town F.C. (@BuryTownFC) May 16, 2018 2:52PM Lovely stuff, Marcus Rashford After years of you standing on the touch line in the cold and rain, Mum we're off to the World Cup! ������ pic.twitter.com/JOCj5oBCtN— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) May 16, 2018 2:18PM Sweeping changes Only five players in Southgate's 23-man squad from the 23 picked by Hodgson for 2014: Cahill, Jones, Henderson, Welbeck, Sterling. As comparison, 12 from 2006 WC squad were picked in 2010— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 16, 2018 2:16PM By the way This is how the England squad was announced before the list was published in full: For the nation, by the nation. The #ThreeLions’ official @FIFAWorldCup squad announcement. pic.twitter.com/YecUWPUZfJ— England (@England) May 16, 2018 2:10PM Back-up list These five players are on the reserve list: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana 2:09PM The headlines No Adam Lallana in the squad Danny Welbeck and Ruben Loftus-Cheek make the cut Jake Livermore misses out Plenty of options at centre-back, with Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Dier and Walker selected. 2:06PM Squad in full Goalkeepers Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young Midfielders Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Forwards Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy 2:04PM The England squad is here 1:59PM Not long now If that 2pm estimate was correct for the squad announcement, then we will know England's World Cup squad very, very soon indeed. 1:57PM Rumours galore There is a sudden surge of excitement on Twitter after Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey posted this picture. Take note of the 'Humble Lion' caption. ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 Jamaica-born Bailey is one of the Bundesliga's most exciting players, and there had been rumours he may qualify through his grandparents, two of whom have British passports. Fifa rules state that a player can only qualify to play for a country if their grandparents were born in that country which, as far as my research tells me, is not the case for Bailey, meaning he would not qualify to play for England. NB: There is a chance I am wrong about this. 1:43PM Jack makes other plans ���� let me know the dates and I'm in https://t.co/6PgPvhg77X— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 16, 2018 1:33PM So, what's still up in the air? There is a core group of players who will definitely be in the squad, and after this morning's revelations, there are only a few spots still up for grabs. There is probably a centre-back spot that will be contested by Harry Maguire and Phil Jones. Cahill's inclusion could suggest Southgate will go with experience in defence (favouring Jones), but having already picked Cahill he may want a younger player (favouring Maguire). Adam Lallana will probably make the cut, but he has only played 235 minutes of Premier League football all season, so you could understand why Southgate might have reservations. His recent run of injuries will also mean that, if he is named, the back-up midfielders will be on high alert. Will Adam Lallana be given another chance to prove his fitness? Credit: Getty images Support for Ruben Loftus-Cheek's inclusion has gathered pace. Will he make the cut or will Southgate go left-field with his final midfielder? Danny Welbeck will likely be included, but that isn't certain by any stretch. 12:51PM Make football come home Why not have some fun mapping out England's path to glory with our predictor tool? World Cup predictor 12:37PM It's all go today While Premier League clubs are parting ways with managers all over the shop (well, here and here), buzz is building around the squad that England will take to Russia. There has been a fair bit of bemusement about Wilshere's omission (not least from this journalist), but the decisions to take Cahill and Alexander-Arnold will be widely supported, I reckon. Some experience and some youth: Southgate is pleasing everyone. Alexander-Arnold has been a roaring success at Liverpool Credit: Getty images 12:20PM Exclusive: Cahill and Alexander-Arnold are on the plane Matt Lawreports: Gary Cahill has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England World Cup squad that will be officially revealed later today. And Liverpool teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been called up, despite being uncapped at senior level. You can read the full story here. 11:59AM Not long now Today is the day: England's squad for the 2018 World Cup will be announced this afternoon. Everyone has their own opinion over how the final 23 should look, but the only one that matters is that of Gareth Southgate. Here's me trying to second guess the England manager: England's World Cup 2018 squad - ranked We think the squad will be named around 2pm, so there's a little time to wait yet - and plenty of time to discuss Southgate's options. He has already let Wilshere, Hart and Bertrand know that they won't be going to Russia, which leaves two outfield spots free (presuming Nick Pope goes as third-choice goalkeeper). Will Ruben Loftus-Cheek sneak in? Will Danny Welbeck go to another major tournament? Is there any chance of a complete curveball in the shape of someone like Ryan Sessegnon or Ademola Lookman? Let's see what Southgate decides.
Arsenal are at home to Man City on the opening day The first Manchester derby (Etihad) is on November 10 The first north London derby (Emirates) is December 1 The first Merseyside derby (Anfield) is also December 1 New Arsenal manager Unai Emery has been handed a challenging introduction to English football as he faces champions Manchester City on the opening weekend of the Premier League season. Pep Guardiola’s trip to The Emirates is the stand-out fixture when the domestic season restarts on the weekend of August 11/12, City's Spanish coach seeking to become the first back-to-back title winner since Sir Alex Ferguson ten years ago. After the tough opener, the early schedule does not get any easier for Emery, who replaced Arsene Wenger after the Frenchman’s 22-year reign last month. Arsenal then travel to London rivals Chelsea for their first away game a week later. It is a daunting task for the ex-Paris Saint Germain boss as he seeks to usher in a new era in North London. There is a similarly tough assignment for neighbours Tottenham Hotspur who will play three of their first four games away from home due to the late completion of their £850 million new stadium. They have been granted permission by the Premier League to play their first home game at Wembley, when newly-promoted Fulham – who secured promotion via the play-offs in the stadium - will be visitors. One of the most enticing encounters of the first few weeks sees Spurs host Liverpool for the first game in their new arena on the weekend of September 15/16. Broadcasters Sky and BT are already in discussions about their first round of television games – all yet to be announced - and it is likely all these marquee matches will be shown live. Tottenham's new stadium in pictures All the games published on Thursday are subject to change. Manchester United’s fixtures begin at home to Leicester City, with their first test against a top-four rival coming against Spurs at Old Trafford on August 25. Jurgen Klopp’s season begins at home to West Ham, who will be hoping former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini can sprinkle some early season stardust at his new club. Liverpool must then travel to Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal in their first six away trips, and also host Manchester City in early October – that is sure to be a grudge match given the rising tension between the clubs after their last heated Anfield encounter in the Champions League last spring. Klopp could be concerned the schedule will not help his bid to replicate this season’s run to the European Cup final - each of Liverpool’s six Champions League group games will be preceded by an away Premier League fixture. That includes the especially difficult visits to Tottenham, Stamford Bridge and The Emirates. The draw for the Champions League takes place in Monaco on August 30. Klopp's Liverpool face a tough task to replicate their run to the Champions League final with away trips following their European fixtures Credit: Getty Images Newcomers Wolves and Fulham return to the Premier League with home games against Everton and Crystal Palace, respectively. Neil Warnock - back in the big time with Cardiff - begins his campaign at Bournemouth. Marco Silva’s first home game as Everton manager will be against Southampton. Silva's return to Watford - the club he left in contentious circumstances last season - is not until February. The most difficult start of all is surely Newcastle’s. Their first eight games include meetings with Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United. Among the other eye-catching games, the first Manchester derby is November 10, the North London derby and Merseyside derbies are December 1, and Liverpool host Manchester United on December 15. What are the games to watch in round one? Obviously the stand-out fixture is Arsenal vs Man City, which sees two of the so-called 'Big Six' going head to head. The other four games involving big-six teams are Huddersfield vs Chelsea, Liverpool vs West Ham, Man Utd vs Leicester City and Newcastle vs Tottenham. There is also a London derby - Fulham vs Crystal Palace. When are the three 'big' derbies? Manchester derby 10/11/2018 Manchester City v Manchester United 16/03/2019 Manchester United v Manchester City North London derby 01/12/2018 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur 02/03/2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal Merseyside derby 01/12/2018 Liverpool v Everton 02/03/2019 Everton v Liverpool What are the Boxing Day fixtures? Brighton vs Arsenal Burnley vs Everton Crystal Palace vs Cardiff City Fulham vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Leicester City vs Manchester City Liverpool vs Newcastle United Manchester United vs Huddersfield Town Southampton vs West Ham Tottenham Hotspur vs Bournemouth Watford vs Chelsea What are the New Year's Day fixtures? Arsenal vs Fulham Bournemouth vs Watford Cardiff City vs Tottenham Hotspur Chelsea vs Southampton Everton vs Leicester City Huddersfield Town vs Burnley Manchester City vs Liverpool Newcastle United vs Manchester United West Ham vs Brighton Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Crystal Palace 9:46AM Opening-day records of PL teams: Who's a slow starter? The longest winless run on opening day for a Premier League team has also been passed on from last season. Stoke extended their unwanted sequence to eight years with defeat to Everton but their subsequent relegation leaves Newcastle as the top-flight's slow starters. The Magpies have not won in their last five opening games, including in their promotion season from the Championship two years ago when they began with a defeat to Fulham. The sequence also includes back-to-back defeats to Manchester City, both featuring goals for Aguero, and only one draw - against Southampton, whose four-year winless run on opening day is the second-longest among current Premier League clubs. Saints boss Mark Hughes, having presided over much of Stoke's run, has only one point from the last five opening fixtures while Brighton boss Chris Hughton is only a point better off. As for players, the most famous scoreless run belongs to Tottenham striker and England World Cup captain Harry Kane - still without a career goal for club or country in the month of August, never mind in his five appearances on opening day. 9:45AM Opening-day records of PL teams: Who's quick off the mark? Chelsea were long-established as the Premier League's opening-day specialists but last season suffered their first losing start this century, as Burnley kicked off a troubled season for Antonio Conte's defending champions, who had won 15 of their previous 18. That leaves Watford with the longest unbeaten run among the 20 current top-flight clubs. The Hornets have won five and drawn six of their last 11, though eight of those were outside the top flight. Since their promotion in 2015, they have started with a draw in all three seasons - against Everton, Southampton and then dramatically against Liverpool last year thanks to Miguel Britos' stoppage-time equaliser. Manchester City are next in line with nine years unbeaten, but their run is perhaps more impressive for being compiled entirely in the Premier League and with eight wins - most recently a 2-0 success against Brighton last season - to only one draw. City striker Sergio Aguero is a hot starter in his own right - last season's goal against Brighton was his sixth in a Premier League week one fixture. Wayne Rooney's goal for Everton against Stoke the same day saw him match the record of eight, held by fellow former England internationals Alan Shearer and Frank Lampard. The same is true of Aguero's manager Pep Guardiola, whose City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich teams have won on the opening day in every season of his career except for 2008-09, when Barca were beaten at Numancia. Across Manchester, Jose Mourinho remains unbeaten on opening day. 9:19AM Talking points (part 5) Newcomers get a fair start - but run-in is tough on Bluebirds The early-season calendar appears kind on the three promoted teams, Cardiff, Wolves and Fulham. Although all have one of the top six in their opening four games, other teams have more daunting starts. New boys Huddersfield had a tough run-in last season, however - and it is the same story for Cardiff in 2018-19. Their last seven games include fixtures against Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United. 9:19AM Talking points (part 4) European relief Domestic fixtures following European action have often proved to be a contentious subject for frustrated Premier League managers trying to balance the demands of different competitions. This season, Liverpool are the main beneficiaries, with an Anfield Premier League contest scheduled to follow all six of their European matches. Although none of England's other European qualifiers have done so well, none appears to have been dealt an especially bad hand. 9:17AM Talking points (part 3) Home help for Tottenham Tottenham have until Friday to decide whether to return to Wembley next season while work on their new stadium is completed. Starting at Newcastle - for the second successive season - may not be a bad thing. The question is, will Fulham be the first visitors to Spurs' new home on the site of White Hart Lane on the weekend of August 18? Or might Liverpool, due to visit in mid-September after Spurs helpfully have two away matches, be the glamorous opponents who mark the opening of the new ground? 9:17AM Talking points (part 2) Oh no, Unai Arsenal start the post-Arsene Wenger era with two tricky matches. Although Unai Emery's first competitive match is at home, champions Manchester City are not the ideal opponents. A trip to Chelsea follows on the second weekend of the season. 9:16AM Talking points (part 1) Manchester City can really make hay Pep Guardiola's team do not appear to need much help, having dominated the Premier League as they did last season. However, facing the league's newest six teams in their first eight games will have their title rivals wincing. Although they start at Arsenal and have a trip to Liverpool in October, in between Guardiola's men face Huddersfield, Wolves, Newcastle, Fulham, Cardiff and Brighton. 9:11AM New boys spared The promoted sides were all spared a daunting sequence of games to start the season - although all face one of the 'big six' in their opening four matches. Championship-winning Wolves have a home opener against Everton, before trips to Leicester and West Ham sandwich the visit of Manchester City to Molineux. Cardiff start at Bournemouth and have Newcastle at home and Huddersfield away, before the visit of Arsenal. Fulham, who booked their place in the top flight with victory over Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final, begin at home to Crystal Palace, before the trip to Spurs is followed by Burnley at home and Brighton away. The other first day fixtures see Southampton host Burnley and Watford take on Brighton at Vicarage Road. 9:09AM Tottenham start away Tottenham, who have until Friday to decide whether to return to Wembley next season while work on their new stadium is completed, have been given an away opener - starting their second successive campaign at Newcastle. Spurs are due to move back to their rebuilt home on the site of White Hart Lane for the new season, with Fulham their first scheduled visitors on the weekend of August 18/19. 9:07AM Challenging start for Jurgen Klopp Liverpool's start appears more challenging. After hosting West Ham, Klopp's men face Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City in a run which also includes Crystal Palace, Brighton, Leicester and Southampton. 9:07AM Man Utd on easy street United begin at home to Leicester. The 2017/18 runners-up have Tottenham at home in their third game, with Brighton, Burnley, Watford, Wolves, West Ham and Newcastle their other early-season opponents. 9:04AM Man City open defence... against Arsenal Premier League champions Manchester City will start their title defence at Arsenal. The 2018-19 fixtures handed Pep Guardiola's record-breaking team an Emirates Stadium opener on the weekend of August 11/12 - a match which will also mark the Premier League bow of the Gunners' new Spanish boss Unai Emery. City, who amassed 100 points and 106 goals en route to finishing 19 points clear of Manchester United in 2017/18, do not face another top six side until the trip to Liverpool in October. Games against newly-promoted trio Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham are part of a sequence which also includes Huddersfield, Newcastle and Brighton - the three teams who came up the previous season. 8:28AM The Premier League starts here Good morning, it's Premier League fixtures day! I know what you're thinking... "Already?!" Yep, the fixtures get unveiled this morning, at 9am to be exact. It seems a bit bonkers that they should come out on the same day as the World Cup starts - if the PL wanted maximum exposure, today is not the day to do it. But hey, it's football and we love it. Who will Manchester City start their title defence against? Who will Unai Emery face in his first Premier League game as Arsenal manager? When are all the big derbies? What does Boxing Day look like? All these questions and more will be answered right here.
Premier League 2018/19 fixtures announced: Unai Emery faces daunting start as Arsenal manager
Arsenal are at home to Man City on the opening day The first Manchester derby (Etihad) is on November 10 The first north London derby (Emirates) is December 1 The first Merseyside derby (Anfield) is also December 1 New Arsenal manager Unai Emery has been handed a challenging introduction to English football as he faces champions Manchester City on the opening weekend of the Premier League season. Pep Guardiola’s trip to The Emirates is the stand-out fixture when the domestic season restarts on the weekend of August 11/12, City's Spanish coach seeking to become the first back-to-back title winner since Sir Alex Ferguson ten years ago. After the tough opener, the early schedule does not get any easier for Emery, who replaced Arsene Wenger after the Frenchman’s 22-year reign last month. Arsenal then travel to London rivals Chelsea for their first away game a week later. It is a daunting task for the ex-Paris Saint Germain boss as he seeks to usher in a new era in North London. There is a similarly tough assignment for neighbours Tottenham Hotspur who will play three of their first four games away from home due to the late completion of their £850 million new stadium. They have been granted permission by the Premier League to play their first home game at Wembley, when newly-promoted Fulham – who secured promotion via the play-offs in the stadium - will be visitors. One of the most enticing encounters of the first few weeks sees Spurs host Liverpool for the first game in their new arena on the weekend of September 15/16. Broadcasters Sky and BT are already in discussions about their first round of television games – all yet to be announced - and it is likely all these marquee matches will be shown live. Tottenham's new stadium in pictures All the games published on Thursday are subject to change. Manchester United’s fixtures begin at home to Leicester City, with their first test against a top-four rival coming against Spurs at Old Trafford on August 25. Jurgen Klopp’s season begins at home to West Ham, who will be hoping former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini can sprinkle some early season stardust at his new club. Liverpool must then travel to Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal in their first six away trips, and also host Manchester City in early October – that is sure to be a grudge match given the rising tension between the clubs after their last heated Anfield encounter in the Champions League last spring. Klopp could be concerned the schedule will not help his bid to replicate this season’s run to the European Cup final - each of Liverpool’s six Champions League group games will be preceded by an away Premier League fixture. That includes the especially difficult visits to Tottenham, Stamford Bridge and The Emirates. The draw for the Champions League takes place in Monaco on August 30. Klopp's Liverpool face a tough task to replicate their run to the Champions League final with away trips following their European fixtures Credit: Getty Images Newcomers Wolves and Fulham return to the Premier League with home games against Everton and Crystal Palace, respectively. Neil Warnock - back in the big time with Cardiff - begins his campaign at Bournemouth. Marco Silva’s first home game as Everton manager will be against Southampton. Silva's return to Watford - the club he left in contentious circumstances last season - is not until February. The most difficult start of all is surely Newcastle’s. Their first eight games include meetings with Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United. Among the other eye-catching games, the first Manchester derby is November 10, the North London derby and Merseyside derbies are December 1, and Liverpool host Manchester United on December 15. What are the games to watch in round one? Obviously the stand-out fixture is Arsenal vs Man City, which sees two of the so-called 'Big Six' going head to head. The other four games involving big-six teams are Huddersfield vs Chelsea, Liverpool vs West Ham, Man Utd vs Leicester City and Newcastle vs Tottenham. There is also a London derby - Fulham vs Crystal Palace. When are the three 'big' derbies? Manchester derby 10/11/2018 Manchester City v Manchester United 16/03/2019 Manchester United v Manchester City North London derby 01/12/2018 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur 02/03/2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal Merseyside derby 01/12/2018 Liverpool v Everton 02/03/2019 Everton v Liverpool What are the Boxing Day fixtures? Brighton vs Arsenal Burnley vs Everton Crystal Palace vs Cardiff City Fulham vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Leicester City vs Manchester City Liverpool vs Newcastle United Manchester United vs Huddersfield Town Southampton vs West Ham Tottenham Hotspur vs Bournemouth Watford vs Chelsea What are the New Year's Day fixtures? Arsenal vs Fulham Bournemouth vs Watford Cardiff City vs Tottenham Hotspur Chelsea vs Southampton Everton vs Leicester City Huddersfield Town vs Burnley Manchester City vs Liverpool Newcastle United vs Manchester United West Ham vs Brighton Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Crystal Palace 9:46AM Opening-day records of PL teams: Who's a slow starter? The longest winless run on opening day for a Premier League team has also been passed on from last season. Stoke extended their unwanted sequence to eight years with defeat to Everton but their subsequent relegation leaves Newcastle as the top-flight's slow starters. The Magpies have not won in their last five opening games, including in their promotion season from the Championship two years ago when they began with a defeat to Fulham. The sequence also includes back-to-back defeats to Manchester City, both featuring goals for Aguero, and only one draw - against Southampton, whose four-year winless run on opening day is the second-longest among current Premier League clubs. Saints boss Mark Hughes, having presided over much of Stoke's run, has only one point from the last five opening fixtures while Brighton boss Chris Hughton is only a point better off. As for players, the most famous scoreless run belongs to Tottenham striker and England World Cup captain Harry Kane - still without a career goal for club or country in the month of August, never mind in his five appearances on opening day. 9:45AM Opening-day records of PL teams: Who's quick off the mark? Chelsea were long-established as the Premier League's opening-day specialists but last season suffered their first losing start this century, as Burnley kicked off a troubled season for Antonio Conte's defending champions, who had won 15 of their previous 18. That leaves Watford with the longest unbeaten run among the 20 current top-flight clubs. The Hornets have won five and drawn six of their last 11, though eight of those were outside the top flight. Since their promotion in 2015, they have started with a draw in all three seasons - against Everton, Southampton and then dramatically against Liverpool last year thanks to Miguel Britos' stoppage-time equaliser. Manchester City are next in line with nine years unbeaten, but their run is perhaps more impressive for being compiled entirely in the Premier League and with eight wins - most recently a 2-0 success against Brighton last season - to only one draw. City striker Sergio Aguero is a hot starter in his own right - last season's goal against Brighton was his sixth in a Premier League week one fixture. Wayne Rooney's goal for Everton against Stoke the same day saw him match the record of eight, held by fellow former England internationals Alan Shearer and Frank Lampard. The same is true of Aguero's manager Pep Guardiola, whose City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich teams have won on the opening day in every season of his career except for 2008-09, when Barca were beaten at Numancia. Across Manchester, Jose Mourinho remains unbeaten on opening day. 9:19AM Talking points (part 5) Newcomers get a fair start - but run-in is tough on Bluebirds The early-season calendar appears kind on the three promoted teams, Cardiff, Wolves and Fulham. Although all have one of the top six in their opening four games, other teams have more daunting starts. New boys Huddersfield had a tough run-in last season, however - and it is the same story for Cardiff in 2018-19. Their last seven games include fixtures against Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United. 9:19AM Talking points (part 4) European relief Domestic fixtures following European action have often proved to be a contentious subject for frustrated Premier League managers trying to balance the demands of different competitions. This season, Liverpool are the main beneficiaries, with an Anfield Premier League contest scheduled to follow all six of their European matches. Although none of England's other European qualifiers have done so well, none appears to have been dealt an especially bad hand. 9:17AM Talking points (part 3) Home help for Tottenham Tottenham have until Friday to decide whether to return to Wembley next season while work on their new stadium is completed. Starting at Newcastle - for the second successive season - may not be a bad thing. The question is, will Fulham be the first visitors to Spurs' new home on the site of White Hart Lane on the weekend of August 18? Or might Liverpool, due to visit in mid-September after Spurs helpfully have two away matches, be the glamorous opponents who mark the opening of the new ground? 9:17AM Talking points (part 2) Oh no, Unai Arsenal start the post-Arsene Wenger era with two tricky matches. Although Unai Emery's first competitive match is at home, champions Manchester City are not the ideal opponents. A trip to Chelsea follows on the second weekend of the season. 9:16AM Talking points (part 1) Manchester City can really make hay Pep Guardiola's team do not appear to need much help, having dominated the Premier League as they did last season. However, facing the league's newest six teams in their first eight games will have their title rivals wincing. Although they start at Arsenal and have a trip to Liverpool in October, in between Guardiola's men face Huddersfield, Wolves, Newcastle, Fulham, Cardiff and Brighton. 9:11AM New boys spared The promoted sides were all spared a daunting sequence of games to start the season - although all face one of the 'big six' in their opening four matches. Championship-winning Wolves have a home opener against Everton, before trips to Leicester and West Ham sandwich the visit of Manchester City to Molineux. Cardiff start at Bournemouth and have Newcastle at home and Huddersfield away, before the visit of Arsenal. Fulham, who booked their place in the top flight with victory over Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final, begin at home to Crystal Palace, before the trip to Spurs is followed by Burnley at home and Brighton away. The other first day fixtures see Southampton host Burnley and Watford take on Brighton at Vicarage Road. 9:09AM Tottenham start away Tottenham, who have until Friday to decide whether to return to Wembley next season while work on their new stadium is completed, have been given an away opener - starting their second successive campaign at Newcastle. Spurs are due to move back to their rebuilt home on the site of White Hart Lane for the new season, with Fulham their first scheduled visitors on the weekend of August 18/19. 9:07AM Challenging start for Jurgen Klopp Liverpool's start appears more challenging. After hosting West Ham, Klopp's men face Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City in a run which also includes Crystal Palace, Brighton, Leicester and Southampton. 9:07AM Man Utd on easy street United begin at home to Leicester. The 2017/18 runners-up have Tottenham at home in their third game, with Brighton, Burnley, Watford, Wolves, West Ham and Newcastle their other early-season opponents. 9:04AM Man City open defence... against Arsenal Premier League champions Manchester City will start their title defence at Arsenal. The 2018-19 fixtures handed Pep Guardiola's record-breaking team an Emirates Stadium opener on the weekend of August 11/12 - a match which will also mark the Premier League bow of the Gunners' new Spanish boss Unai Emery. City, who amassed 100 points and 106 goals en route to finishing 19 points clear of Manchester United in 2017/18, do not face another top six side until the trip to Liverpool in October. Games against newly-promoted trio Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham are part of a sequence which also includes Huddersfield, Newcastle and Brighton - the three teams who came up the previous season. 8:28AM The Premier League starts here Good morning, it's Premier League fixtures day! I know what you're thinking... "Already?!" Yep, the fixtures get unveiled this morning, at 9am to be exact. It seems a bit bonkers that they should come out on the same day as the World Cup starts - if the PL wanted maximum exposure, today is not the day to do it. But hey, it's football and we love it. Who will Manchester City start their title defence against? Who will Unai Emery face in his first Premier League game as Arsenal manager? When are all the big derbies? What does Boxing Day look like? All these questions and more will be answered right here.
Arsenal are at home to Man City on the opening day The first Manchester derby (Etihad) is on November 10 The first north London derby (Emirates) is December 1 The first Merseyside derby (Anfield) is also December 1 New Arsenal manager Unai Emery could not have asked for a tougher start to his career in the Premier League with the Gunners hosting Manchester City on the opening day of the season at The Emirates. Emery has replaced Arsene Wenger as the north Londoners seek to hark in a new era of success, but it'll be a baptism of fire on August 11 as he goes head to head with record-breaking Pep Guardiola and his all-conquering City. And it doesn't get much easier after that either, with Emery's next game away to Chelsea. The first north London derby of the new campaign - at The Emirates - is on December 1 with the return on March 2. By contrast, City have been handed a dream start. After what will admittedly be a tough opener against Arsenal their next six fixtures are against Huddersfield, Wolves, Newcastle, Fulham, Cardiff City and Brighton. The first Manchester derby is on November 10 at The Etihad with the return, at Old Trafford, on March 16. On New Year's Day, Guardiola's men face Liverpool at home. Like City, Man Utd also have a chance to put points on the board early. In seven of their opening eight fixtures they will have played Leicester City, Brighton, Burnley, Watford, Wolves, West Ham and Newcastle, with a toughie at home to Tottenham (August 25) also thrown into the mix. Liverpool have a relatively easy start to the new season, facing West Ham, Crystal Palace, Brighton and Leicester in their first four fixtures, before having to face Tottenham, Chelsea and City in the space of three weeks. Jurgen Klopp's men face Man Utd at Anfield on December 15. Tottenham will play their first home game of the new Premier League season against Fulham at Wembley. Spurs were hoping to be in their new stadium for the start of the new campaign but work has overrun, meaning they will return to the national stadium for the London derby against the newly-promoted Cottagers on August 18. The club have confirmed that the first game at their rebuilt home will be against Liverpool on September 15. 9:46AM Opening-day records of PL teams: Who's a slow starter? The longest winless run on opening day for a Premier League team has also been passed on from last season. Stoke extended their unwanted sequence to eight years with defeat to Everton but their subsequent relegation leaves Newcastle as the top-flight's slow starters. The Magpies have not won in their last five opening games, including in their promotion season from the Championship two years ago when they began with a defeat to Fulham. The sequence also includes back-to-back defeats to Manchester City, both featuring goals for Aguero, and only one draw - against Southampton, whose four-year winless run on opening day is the second-longest among current Premier League clubs. Saints boss Mark Hughes, having presided over much of Stoke's run, has only one point from the last five opening fixtures while Brighton boss Chris Hughton is only a point better off. As for players, the most famous scoreless run belongs to Tottenham striker and England World Cup captain Harry Kane - still without a career goal for club or country in the month of August, never mind in his five appearances on opening day. 9:45AM Opening-day records of PL teams: Who's quick off the mark? Chelsea were long-established as the Premier League's opening-day specialists but last season suffered their first losing start this century, as Burnley kicked off a troubled season for Antonio Conte's defending champions, who had won 15 of their previous 18. That leaves Watford with the longest unbeaten run among the 20 current top-flight clubs. The Hornets have won five and drawn six of their last 11, though eight of those were outside the top flight. Since their promotion in 2015, they have started with a draw in all three seasons - against Everton, Southampton and then dramatically against Liverpool last year thanks to Miguel Britos' stoppage-time equaliser. Manchester City are next in line with nine years unbeaten, but their run is perhaps more impressive for being compiled entirely in the Premier League and with eight wins - most recently a 2-0 success against Brighton last season - to only one draw. City striker Sergio Aguero is a hot starter in his own right - last season's goal against Brighton was his sixth in a Premier League week one fixture. Wayne Rooney's goal for Everton against Stoke the same day saw him match the record of eight, held by fellow former England internationals Alan Shearer and Frank Lampard. The same is true of Aguero's manager Pep Guardiola, whose City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich teams have won on the opening day in every season of his career except for 2008-09, when Barca were beaten at Numancia. Across Manchester, Jose Mourinho remains unbeaten on opening day. 9:19AM Talking points (part 5) Newcomers get a fair start - but run-in is tough on Bluebirds The early-season calendar appears kind on the three promoted teams, Cardiff, Wolves and Fulham. Although all have one of the top six in their opening four games, other teams have more daunting starts. New boys Huddersfield had a tough run-in last season, however - and it is the same story for Cardiff in 2018-19. Their last seven games include fixtures against Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United. 9:19AM Talking points (part 4) European relief Domestic fixtures following European action have often proved to be a contentious subject for frustrated Premier League managers trying to balance the demands of different competitions. This season, Liverpool are the main beneficiaries, with an Anfield Premier League contest scheduled to follow all six of their European matches. Although none of England's other European qualifiers have done so well, none appears to have been dealt an especially bad hand. 9:17AM Talking points (part 3) Home help for Tottenham Tottenham have until Friday to decide whether to return to Wembley next season while work on their new stadium is completed. Starting at Newcastle - for the second successive season - may not be a bad thing. The question is, will Fulham be the first visitors to Spurs' new home on the site of White Hart Lane on the weekend of August 18? Or might Liverpool, due to visit in mid-September after Spurs helpfully have two away matches, be the glamorous opponents who mark the opening of the new ground? 9:17AM Talking points (part 2) Oh no, Unai Arsenal start the post-Arsene Wenger era with two tricky matches. Although Unai Emery's first competitive match is at home, champions Manchester City are not the ideal opponents. A trip to Chelsea follows on the second weekend of the season. 9:16AM Talking points (part 1) Manchester City can really make hay Pep Guardiola's team do not appear to need much help, having dominated the Premier League as they did last season. However, facing the league's newest six teams in their first eight games will have their title rivals wincing. Although they start at Arsenal and have a trip to Liverpool in October, in between Guardiola's men face Huddersfield, Wolves, Newcastle, Fulham, Cardiff and Brighton. 9:11AM New boys spared The promoted sides were all spared a daunting sequence of games to start the season - although all face one of the 'big six' in their opening four matches. Championship-winning Wolves have a home opener against Everton, before trips to Leicester and West Ham sandwich the visit of Manchester City to Molineux. Cardiff start at Bournemouth and have Newcastle at home and Huddersfield away, before the visit of Arsenal. Fulham, who booked their place in the top flight with victory over Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final, begin at home to Crystal Palace, before the trip to Spurs is followed by Burnley at home and Brighton away. The other first day fixtures see Southampton host Burnley and Watford take on Brighton at Vicarage Road. 9:09AM Tottenham start away Tottenham, who have until Friday to decide whether to return to Wembley next season while work on their new stadium is completed, have been given an away opener - starting their second successive campaign at Newcastle. Spurs are due to move back to their rebuilt home on the site of White Hart Lane for the new season, with Fulham their first scheduled visitors on the weekend of August 18/19. 9:07AM Challenging start for Jurgen Klopp Liverpool's start appears more challenging. After hosting West Ham, Klopp's men face Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City in a run which also includes Crystal Palace, Brighton, Leicester and Southampton. 9:07AM Man Utd on easy street United begin at home to Leicester. The 2017/18 runners-up have Tottenham at home in their third game, with Brighton, Burnley, Watford, Wolves, West Ham and Newcastle their other early-season opponents. 9:04AM Man City open defence... against Arsenal Premier League champions Manchester City will start their title defence at Arsenal. The 2018-19 fixtures handed Pep Guardiola's record-breaking team an Emirates Stadium opener on the weekend of August 11/12 - a match which will also mark the Premier League bow of the Gunners' new Spanish boss Unai Emery. City, who amassed 100 points and 106 goals en route to finishing 19 points clear of Manchester United in 2017/18, do not face another top six side until the trip to Liverpool in October. Games against newly-promoted trio Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham are part of a sequence which also includes Huddersfield, Newcastle and Brighton - the three teams who came up the previous season. 8:28AM The Premier League starts here Good morning, it's Premier League fixtures day! I know what you're thinking... "Already?!" Yep, the fixtures get unveiled this morning, at 9am to be exact. It seems a bit bonkers that they should come out on the same day as the World Cup starts - if the PL wanted maximum exposure, today is not the day to do it. But hey, it's football and we love it. Who will Manchester City start their title defence against? Who will Unai Emery face in his first Premier League game as Arsenal manager? When are all the big derbies? What does Boxing Day look like? All these questions and more will be answered right here.
Premier League fixtures 2018/19 live updates: Arsenal and Unai Emery face champions Man City on opening day
Arsenal are at home to Man City on the opening day The first Manchester derby (Etihad) is on November 10 The first north London derby (Emirates) is December 1 The first Merseyside derby (Anfield) is also December 1 New Arsenal manager Unai Emery could not have asked for a tougher start to his career in the Premier League with the Gunners hosting Manchester City on the opening day of the season at The Emirates. Emery has replaced Arsene Wenger as the north Londoners seek to hark in a new era of success, but it'll be a baptism of fire on August 11 as he goes head to head with record-breaking Pep Guardiola and his all-conquering City. And it doesn't get much easier after that either, with Emery's next game away to Chelsea. The first north London derby of the new campaign - at The Emirates - is on December 1 with the return on March 2. By contrast, City have been handed a dream start. After what will admittedly be a tough opener against Arsenal their next six fixtures are against Huddersfield, Wolves, Newcastle, Fulham, Cardiff City and Brighton. The first Manchester derby is on November 10 at The Etihad with the return, at Old Trafford, on March 16. On New Year's Day, Guardiola's men face Liverpool at home. Like City, Man Utd also have a chance to put points on the board early. In seven of their opening eight fixtures they will have played Leicester City, Brighton, Burnley, Watford, Wolves, West Ham and Newcastle, with a toughie at home to Tottenham (August 25) also thrown into the mix. Liverpool have a relatively easy start to the new season, facing West Ham, Crystal Palace, Brighton and Leicester in their first four fixtures, before having to face Tottenham, Chelsea and City in the space of three weeks. Jurgen Klopp's men face Man Utd at Anfield on December 15. Tottenham will play their first home game of the new Premier League season against Fulham at Wembley. Spurs were hoping to be in their new stadium for the start of the new campaign but work has overrun, meaning they will return to the national stadium for the London derby against the newly-promoted Cottagers on August 18. The club have confirmed that the first game at their rebuilt home will be against Liverpool on September 15. 9:46AM Opening-day records of PL teams: Who's a slow starter? The longest winless run on opening day for a Premier League team has also been passed on from last season. Stoke extended their unwanted sequence to eight years with defeat to Everton but their subsequent relegation leaves Newcastle as the top-flight's slow starters. The Magpies have not won in their last five opening games, including in their promotion season from the Championship two years ago when they began with a defeat to Fulham. The sequence also includes back-to-back defeats to Manchester City, both featuring goals for Aguero, and only one draw - against Southampton, whose four-year winless run on opening day is the second-longest among current Premier League clubs. Saints boss Mark Hughes, having presided over much of Stoke's run, has only one point from the last five opening fixtures while Brighton boss Chris Hughton is only a point better off. As for players, the most famous scoreless run belongs to Tottenham striker and England World Cup captain Harry Kane - still without a career goal for club or country in the month of August, never mind in his five appearances on opening day. 9:45AM Opening-day records of PL teams: Who's quick off the mark? Chelsea were long-established as the Premier League's opening-day specialists but last season suffered their first losing start this century, as Burnley kicked off a troubled season for Antonio Conte's defending champions, who had won 15 of their previous 18. That leaves Watford with the longest unbeaten run among the 20 current top-flight clubs. The Hornets have won five and drawn six of their last 11, though eight of those were outside the top flight. Since their promotion in 2015, they have started with a draw in all three seasons - against Everton, Southampton and then dramatically against Liverpool last year thanks to Miguel Britos' stoppage-time equaliser. Manchester City are next in line with nine years unbeaten, but their run is perhaps more impressive for being compiled entirely in the Premier League and with eight wins - most recently a 2-0 success against Brighton last season - to only one draw. City striker Sergio Aguero is a hot starter in his own right - last season's goal against Brighton was his sixth in a Premier League week one fixture. Wayne Rooney's goal for Everton against Stoke the same day saw him match the record of eight, held by fellow former England internationals Alan Shearer and Frank Lampard. The same is true of Aguero's manager Pep Guardiola, whose City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich teams have won on the opening day in every season of his career except for 2008-09, when Barca were beaten at Numancia. Across Manchester, Jose Mourinho remains unbeaten on opening day. 9:19AM Talking points (part 5) Newcomers get a fair start - but run-in is tough on Bluebirds The early-season calendar appears kind on the three promoted teams, Cardiff, Wolves and Fulham. Although all have one of the top six in their opening four games, other teams have more daunting starts. New boys Huddersfield had a tough run-in last season, however - and it is the same story for Cardiff in 2018-19. Their last seven games include fixtures against Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United. 9:19AM Talking points (part 4) European relief Domestic fixtures following European action have often proved to be a contentious subject for frustrated Premier League managers trying to balance the demands of different competitions. This season, Liverpool are the main beneficiaries, with an Anfield Premier League contest scheduled to follow all six of their European matches. Although none of England's other European qualifiers have done so well, none appears to have been dealt an especially bad hand. 9:17AM Talking points (part 3) Home help for Tottenham Tottenham have until Friday to decide whether to return to Wembley next season while work on their new stadium is completed. Starting at Newcastle - for the second successive season - may not be a bad thing. The question is, will Fulham be the first visitors to Spurs' new home on the site of White Hart Lane on the weekend of August 18? Or might Liverpool, due to visit in mid-September after Spurs helpfully have two away matches, be the glamorous opponents who mark the opening of the new ground? 9:17AM Talking points (part 2) Oh no, Unai Arsenal start the post-Arsene Wenger era with two tricky matches. Although Unai Emery's first competitive match is at home, champions Manchester City are not the ideal opponents. A trip to Chelsea follows on the second weekend of the season. 9:16AM Talking points (part 1) Manchester City can really make hay Pep Guardiola's team do not appear to need much help, having dominated the Premier League as they did last season. However, facing the league's newest six teams in their first eight games will have their title rivals wincing. Although they start at Arsenal and have a trip to Liverpool in October, in between Guardiola's men face Huddersfield, Wolves, Newcastle, Fulham, Cardiff and Brighton. 9:11AM New boys spared The promoted sides were all spared a daunting sequence of games to start the season - although all face one of the 'big six' in their opening four matches. Championship-winning Wolves have a home opener against Everton, before trips to Leicester and West Ham sandwich the visit of Manchester City to Molineux. Cardiff start at Bournemouth and have Newcastle at home and Huddersfield away, before the visit of Arsenal. Fulham, who booked their place in the top flight with victory over Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final, begin at home to Crystal Palace, before the trip to Spurs is followed by Burnley at home and Brighton away. The other first day fixtures see Southampton host Burnley and Watford take on Brighton at Vicarage Road. 9:09AM Tottenham start away Tottenham, who have until Friday to decide whether to return to Wembley next season while work on their new stadium is completed, have been given an away opener - starting their second successive campaign at Newcastle. Spurs are due to move back to their rebuilt home on the site of White Hart Lane for the new season, with Fulham their first scheduled visitors on the weekend of August 18/19. 9:07AM Challenging start for Jurgen Klopp Liverpool's start appears more challenging. After hosting West Ham, Klopp's men face Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City in a run which also includes Crystal Palace, Brighton, Leicester and Southampton. 9:07AM Man Utd on easy street United begin at home to Leicester. The 2017/18 runners-up have Tottenham at home in their third game, with Brighton, Burnley, Watford, Wolves, West Ham and Newcastle their other early-season opponents. 9:04AM Man City open defence... against Arsenal Premier League champions Manchester City will start their title defence at Arsenal. The 2018-19 fixtures handed Pep Guardiola's record-breaking team an Emirates Stadium opener on the weekend of August 11/12 - a match which will also mark the Premier League bow of the Gunners' new Spanish boss Unai Emery. City, who amassed 100 points and 106 goals en route to finishing 19 points clear of Manchester United in 2017/18, do not face another top six side until the trip to Liverpool in October. Games against newly-promoted trio Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham are part of a sequence which also includes Huddersfield, Newcastle and Brighton - the three teams who came up the previous season. 8:28AM The Premier League starts here Good morning, it's Premier League fixtures day! I know what you're thinking... "Already?!" Yep, the fixtures get unveiled this morning, at 9am to be exact. It seems a bit bonkers that they should come out on the same day as the World Cup starts - if the PL wanted maximum exposure, today is not the day to do it. But hey, it's football and we love it. Who will Manchester City start their title defence against? Who will Unai Emery face in his first Premier League game as Arsenal manager? When are all the big derbies? What does Boxing Day look like? All these questions and more will be answered right here.
Burnley 2018/19 Premier League fixtures
Burnley 2018/19 Premier League fixtures
Burnley 2018/19 Premier League fixtures
Southampton 2018/19 fixtures: Saints start Premier League schedule at home against Burnley
Southampton 2018/19 fixtures: Saints start Premier League schedule at home against Burnley
Southampton 2018/19 fixtures: Saints start Premier League schedule at home against Burnley
Southampton 2018/19 fixtures: Saints start Premier League schedule at home against Burnley
Southampton 2018/19 fixtures: Saints start Premier League schedule at home against Burnley
Southampton 2018/19 fixtures: Saints start Premier League schedule at home against Burnley
Southampton 2018/19 fixtures: Saints start Premier League schedule at home against Burnley
Southampton 2018/19 fixtures: Saints start Premier League schedule at home against Burnley
Southampton 2018/19 fixtures: Saints start Premier League schedule at home against Burnley
Southampton 2018/19 fixtures: Saints start Premier League schedule at home against Burnley
Southampton 2018/19 fixtures: Saints start Premier League schedule at home against Burnley
Southampton 2018/19 fixtures: Saints start Premier League schedule at home against Burnley
Burnley 2018/19 fixtures: Sean Dyche’s side handed generous Premier League opening schedule
Burnley 2018/19 fixtures: Sean Dyche’s side handed generous Premier League opening schedule
Burnley 2018/19 fixtures: Sean Dyche’s side handed generous Premier League opening schedule
Burnley 2018/19 fixtures: Sean Dyche’s side handed generous Premier League opening schedule
Burnley 2018/19 fixtures: Sean Dyche’s side handed generous Premier League opening schedule
Burnley 2018/19 fixtures: Sean Dyche’s side handed generous Premier League opening schedule
Burnley 2018/19 fixtures: Sean Dyche’s side handed generous Premier League opening schedule
Burnley 2018/19 fixtures: Sean Dyche’s side handed generous Premier League opening schedule
Burnley 2018/19 fixtures: Sean Dyche’s side handed generous Premier League opening schedule
Burnley 2018/19 fixtures: Sean Dyche’s side handed generous Premier League opening schedule
Burnley 2018/19 fixtures: Sean Dyche’s side handed generous Premier League opening schedule
Burnley 2018/19 fixtures: Sean Dyche’s side handed generous Premier League opening schedule
Johann Berg Gudmundsson is reliving the moment Cristiano Ronaldo grew so frustrated against Iceland at Euro 2016 that the Portugal forward threw a tantrum at the end of an arduous 1-1 draw. Angered by what he perceived to be Iceland’s spoiling tactics in Saint Etienne, Ronaldo dismissed them as a country with a “small mentality” who are “not going to do anything” in the tournament. “He was obviously p----- off because they couldn’t score a second against us,” the Burnley winger recalled, a flicker of a smile crossing his face. “It was our first game in a major tournament and they couldn’t beat Iceland so it was not nice for them. He’s a winner so he got a bit angry.” Two years on, it will not be Ronaldo but his long standing rival as the world’s greatest footballer, Lionel Messi, whom Iceland will be tasked with trying to shackle when they face Argentina in their opening World Cup match in Moscow on Saturday. It is another tough start for Iceland but, as Gudmundsson assesses the scale of the threat posed by Messi, the determination is to ruffle the Argentina maestro’s feathers in much the same way they did Ronaldo. Gudmundsson is honest enough to admit he never imagined being able to play at a World Cup Credit: PAUL COOPER “That’s what you want to do,” he said, his tone hardening. “It will be tough to play against him but as long as he is frustrated and can’t score, we’re happy. Let’s just go out there and try to beat them and make him even more angry [than Ronaldo was]. When the draw was made I said I wanted Brazil or Argentina and we got one of them. In the first game in the Euros we played Ronaldo and now it’s Messi. We kept Ronaldo quite quiet so hopefully will do the same with Messi.” Kari Arnason, the Iceland defender, had suggested at the time that Ronaldo’s sour remarks illustrated “why Messi is always going to be one step ahead of him”. “You wouldn’t expect Messi to have said that,” Arnason said. It was a great retort but, given the pressure on Messi to deliver at a World Cup at the fourth time of asking and inspire Argentina in much the same way as the player with whom he is most likened, Diego Maradona, did at Mexico ’86, an Iceland upset could test even the Barcelona forward’s usual public restraint. Ronaldo recovered from that Iceland setback to help inspire Portugal to Euro glory so Messi would doubtless settle for a similar disappointment if it meant clasping hands on the World Cup trophy at the Luzhniki Stadium on July 15. But Gudmundsson is eager to ensure these are uncomfortable beginnings for Argentina in what is probably the toughest group of the lot. Croatia and Nigeria are the other opponents in Group G. Iceland’s historic victory over England in Nice at the Euros, when they came from behind to win 2-1 and reach the quarter finals, underlined their strength as a collective, fierce work ethic and how they are not easily overawed by either opponent or occasion. By Gudmundsson’s own admission, they are not nice to play against. “We are really hard to break down. Defensively we keep quite a few clean sheets and are always dangerous on attack which is a good combination. I’d hate to play against Iceland,” he said. “It couldn’t happen again to get this togetherness we have. Six or seven of the team are my best friends. I speak to them every day. Everyone gets along. It’s a bit like Burnley. There are no big stars or egos. Everyone is willing to put a shift in. That’s a major factor, and if you don’t get that togetherness in the next generation, what we’ve done may not happen again. “We know we’re probably going to be defending a lot of the time [against Argentina] and Messi can turn it on but we just have to see where it takes us. Attacking wise they’re one of best in tournament but they have a few in defence who are maybe not at the highest level like their attackers so hopefully we use that to our advantage. “This going to be bigger than the Euros but I think we will know more what’s going to happen now that we didn’t know in France. I think that will help us a bit.” Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more Iceland have a population of just 340,000 and, growing up, Gudmundsson is honest enough to admit he never imagined being able to play at a World Cup. There were moments when he was tempted to check the family tree to see if he had any ancestry that might allow him to represent a country with better prospects of reaching the tournament. “I always wanted to play in the World Cup but thought, ‘What country can I play for because it won’t be with Iceland’,” he said. “When I started with the national team we were so far off it. We were 130 in world or something and not doing well. To be going is something special.” Despite Iceland’s recent success putting them on the football map, though, Gudmundsson believes the country’s talents are still overlooked in favour of those with more exotic backgrounds. “A few of our players could play at a higher level but it’s tough for Icelandic players, who are overlooked for Brazilians or whatever,” he says. “And it’s not always the case that they’re better. We do have a great work ethic.” World Cup 2018 tactics | JJ Bull analyses formations, line-ups and more Gudmundsson has had an impressive season with Burnley. He played a key role in helping the Lancashire club to an extraordinary seventh place finish in the Premier League and, with it, Europa League football and is hoping to continue that success with Iceland. No one should forget they finished top of their group in qualifying, above Croatia, who they beat at home and lost to away. “When I saw Croatia I thought ‘not again’ but we beat them last time and that gives us a lot of confidence and belief,” he said. “Nigeria were the strongest team in pot four so it’s a tough group but it was always going to be. “We will always be underdogs but people will at look how we do now after the Euros and the opposition will give us more respect. Maybe there will be a bit more expectation on us because of that but we will have a chance against them all. We want to get out of group and anything after that is a bonus.”
Johann Berg Gudmundson: Iceland got up Cristiano Ronaldo's nose - now it's Lionel Messi's turn
Johann Berg Gudmundsson is reliving the moment Cristiano Ronaldo grew so frustrated against Iceland at Euro 2016 that the Portugal forward threw a tantrum at the end of an arduous 1-1 draw. Angered by what he perceived to be Iceland’s spoiling tactics in Saint Etienne, Ronaldo dismissed them as a country with a “small mentality” who are “not going to do anything” in the tournament. “He was obviously p----- off because they couldn’t score a second against us,” the Burnley winger recalled, a flicker of a smile crossing his face. “It was our first game in a major tournament and they couldn’t beat Iceland so it was not nice for them. He’s a winner so he got a bit angry.” Two years on, it will not be Ronaldo but his long standing rival as the world’s greatest footballer, Lionel Messi, whom Iceland will be tasked with trying to shackle when they face Argentina in their opening World Cup match in Moscow on Saturday. It is another tough start for Iceland but, as Gudmundsson assesses the scale of the threat posed by Messi, the determination is to ruffle the Argentina maestro’s feathers in much the same way they did Ronaldo. Gudmundsson is honest enough to admit he never imagined being able to play at a World Cup Credit: PAUL COOPER “That’s what you want to do,” he said, his tone hardening. “It will be tough to play against him but as long as he is frustrated and can’t score, we’re happy. Let’s just go out there and try to beat them and make him even more angry [than Ronaldo was]. When the draw was made I said I wanted Brazil or Argentina and we got one of them. In the first game in the Euros we played Ronaldo and now it’s Messi. We kept Ronaldo quite quiet so hopefully will do the same with Messi.” Kari Arnason, the Iceland defender, had suggested at the time that Ronaldo’s sour remarks illustrated “why Messi is always going to be one step ahead of him”. “You wouldn’t expect Messi to have said that,” Arnason said. It was a great retort but, given the pressure on Messi to deliver at a World Cup at the fourth time of asking and inspire Argentina in much the same way as the player with whom he is most likened, Diego Maradona, did at Mexico ’86, an Iceland upset could test even the Barcelona forward’s usual public restraint. Ronaldo recovered from that Iceland setback to help inspire Portugal to Euro glory so Messi would doubtless settle for a similar disappointment if it meant clasping hands on the World Cup trophy at the Luzhniki Stadium on July 15. But Gudmundsson is eager to ensure these are uncomfortable beginnings for Argentina in what is probably the toughest group of the lot. Croatia and Nigeria are the other opponents in Group G. Iceland’s historic victory over England in Nice at the Euros, when they came from behind to win 2-1 and reach the quarter finals, underlined their strength as a collective, fierce work ethic and how they are not easily overawed by either opponent or occasion. By Gudmundsson’s own admission, they are not nice to play against. “We are really hard to break down. Defensively we keep quite a few clean sheets and are always dangerous on attack which is a good combination. I’d hate to play against Iceland,” he said. “It couldn’t happen again to get this togetherness we have. Six or seven of the team are my best friends. I speak to them every day. Everyone gets along. It’s a bit like Burnley. There are no big stars or egos. Everyone is willing to put a shift in. That’s a major factor, and if you don’t get that togetherness in the next generation, what we’ve done may not happen again. “We know we’re probably going to be defending a lot of the time [against Argentina] and Messi can turn it on but we just have to see where it takes us. Attacking wise they’re one of best in tournament but they have a few in defence who are maybe not at the highest level like their attackers so hopefully we use that to our advantage. “This going to be bigger than the Euros but I think we will know more what’s going to happen now that we didn’t know in France. I think that will help us a bit.” Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more Iceland have a population of just 340,000 and, growing up, Gudmundsson is honest enough to admit he never imagined being able to play at a World Cup. There were moments when he was tempted to check the family tree to see if he had any ancestry that might allow him to represent a country with better prospects of reaching the tournament. “I always wanted to play in the World Cup but thought, ‘What country can I play for because it won’t be with Iceland’,” he said. “When I started with the national team we were so far off it. We were 130 in world or something and not doing well. To be going is something special.” Despite Iceland’s recent success putting them on the football map, though, Gudmundsson believes the country’s talents are still overlooked in favour of those with more exotic backgrounds. “A few of our players could play at a higher level but it’s tough for Icelandic players, who are overlooked for Brazilians or whatever,” he says. “And it’s not always the case that they’re better. We do have a great work ethic.” World Cup 2018 tactics | JJ Bull analyses formations, line-ups and more Gudmundsson has had an impressive season with Burnley. He played a key role in helping the Lancashire club to an extraordinary seventh place finish in the Premier League and, with it, Europa League football and is hoping to continue that success with Iceland. No one should forget they finished top of their group in qualifying, above Croatia, who they beat at home and lost to away. “When I saw Croatia I thought ‘not again’ but we beat them last time and that gives us a lot of confidence and belief,” he said. “Nigeria were the strongest team in pot four so it’s a tough group but it was always going to be. “We will always be underdogs but people will at look how we do now after the Euros and the opposition will give us more respect. Maybe there will be a bit more expectation on us because of that but we will have a chance against them all. We want to get out of group and anything after that is a bonus.”