Sunday’s fixtures will allow us to take a closer look at two of the tournament favourites as Germany take on on Mexico in Group F and Brazil face Switzerland in Group E. Before that, Costa Rica take on Serbia in the other Group E match in Samara.
Holders Germany will be looking to hit the ground running in Moscow, while Neymar and co. will also be looking to give their fans something to get excited about in the 7pm kick-off.
Our football betting expert gives you the best World Cup betting odds ahead of all three encounters.
Costa Rica v Serbia
Costa Rica were the surprise package in Brazil four years ago, and they will be keen to make another good start to to get out of this tough group.
Los Ticos topped their group before being knocked out on penalties by Holland four years ago. With ex-Fulham forward Bryan Ruiz in their ranks, they have the quality up front to cause Serbia problems, and are 7/2 to win on Sunday with Grosvenorsport.com.
Serbia will be out to make up for lost time, as they haven’t reached the knock-out stages in 20 years, but their side has a promising mix of youth and experience to get their tournament off to winning ways. The Serbs are favourites at 7/2 for this encounter.
I think this will be extremely cagey, as both nations know a draw will likely leave them in a strong position going into their next two games. It’s too close to call, and the draw looks good value at 9/4.
Germany v Mexico
Germany begin their World Cup title defence with a tough opponent in the shape of Mexico at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
The world champions have never failed to qualify from their group at the World Cup, and have lost only one group match since 1994. They are 4/9 for an opening win against the North American side.
The Mexicans shouldn’t be underestimated for this tournament, but might struggle in their opening fixture. They dominated World Cup qualifying and have good experience across the park to have a strong impact in the tournament. They are 13/2 to beat the Germans.
I can’t see past the Germans for this one. They are well-oiled machine drilled to win group matches without any fuss, and I fancy them to dominate early on and take their chances in both halves. Germany half-time/full-time can be backed at 5/4.
Brazil v Switzerland
It wouldn’t be a World Cup without Brazil, would it? They hold the record amount of World Cup wins, and they are favourites to triumph in Russia.
For Brazil, it’ll be a chance for Neymar to get more minutes on the park following his return from injury, and he’ll likely be joined by Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho in a formidable front three. Brazil are 4/11 to see off Switzerland in Rostov on Sunday.
Switzerland go into this one looking to cause a major upset, and they are in good enough form to do so. They have won four of their last six matches, including a friendly draw with Spain. The Swiss are 15/2 to overcome Brazil.
If Brazil turn up and perform to the levels they are capable of, this one won’t be much of a matchup. I think Neymar and co. will be up for goals in this one, and over 3.5 goals at 9/4 looks good value.