Broadcasting from the iconic setting of Red Square, Moscow, Gary Lineker leads a team of high-profile pundits, commentators and reporters who will be on hand throughout the 33 live televised games to provide audiences with expert opinion, insight and analysis.
Gabby Logan follows the Three Lions across Russia as dedicated England presenter bringing news, updates and interviews from Gareth Southgate’s team camp and also from their live games as England aim to top the group.
Former captains, Alan Shearer and Rio Ferdinand, form part of a former England all-star line-up alongside Frank Lampard, Phil Neville, Jermaine Jenas, Danny Murphy, Alex Scott and Martin Keown, who between them have earned over 600 caps representing their country.
Also joining Lineker in the studio are some of the most respected and decorated players in the international game, including; Jurgen Klinsmann, Didier Drogba and Pablo Zabaleta.
Football Focus’s Dan Walker, Match of the Day 2’s Mark Chapman and Final Score’s Jason Mohammad are in Russia as part of the BBC’s presentation team. Match of the Day favourites Kevin Kilbane and Mark Lawrenson can be heard on TV commentary duties alongside the experienced Guy Mowbray, Steve Wilson, Jonathan Pearce, Steve Bower, Simon Brotherton and Vicki Sparks, who becomes the first-ever female to commentate on a World Cup game for British TV.
A World Cup preview programme on Wednesday, June 13 (BBC One, 10.45pm) kicks off the BBC’s coverage of the eagerly anticipated tournament followed by highlights and a replay of the opening game between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia on Thursday, June 14. Friday, June 15 sees the first of 33 games broadcast on BBC One as Egypt take on Uruguay at 1.00pm. A highlights show is available most evenings on BBC One and audiences who missed a game or want to relive the action again can watch a selected replayed game on BBC Two throughout the competition.
Highlights include a huge opening weekend of world superstars ahead of England’s opening group game:
- Egypt v Uruguay, Friday 15 June, 1pm – Egypt, who are appearing in the tournament for the first time since 1990, kick-off their World Cup campaign with the Premier League’s top goal scorer – Mohamed Salah – leading the strike force against Uruguay
- Portugal v Spain, Friday 15 June, 7pm – Potentially the game that decides Group B, current European champions Portugal meet Spain in the Iberian derby as Cristiano Ronaldo goes head-to-head with Real Madrid teammate and Spanish captain Sergio Ramos in Sochi
- Germany v Mexico, Sunday 17 June 17, 4pm – Current World Cup holders Germany start the defence of their title against Mexico, who finished top of their qualification group coming into the competition
- Belgium v Panama and Tunisia v England, Monday 18 June, from 4pm – Kevin De Bruyne’s Belgium kick-off a Group G double-header on the BBC against World Cup debutants, Panama. At 7pm, audiences will get to see their first glimpse of Gareth Southgate’s England side in action against Tunisia
- England v Panama, Sunday 24 June, 1pm – England will be looking to star striker Harry Kane to progress the Three Lions through the group stage against Panama at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
- BBC One also broadcasts Argentina’s final two group games against Croatia (21 June, 7pm) and Nigeria (26 June, 7pm) as Barcelona’s record goal scorer and global superstar Lionel Messi aims to avenge 2014’s World Cup final defeat
On the eve of the Three Lions’ opening game, audiences can tune in to BBC Two on Sunday 17 June for Managing England: The Impossible Job to hear from England managers and decision makers who explain the unique role of being the manager – the pressures, prestige, glory and heartache that comes with having the hopes of the nation resting on their shoulders.