Russia vs Saudi Arabia: 5 things to look forward to

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REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Three years, eleven months and one day: the time between Mario Gotze's injury-time heroics at the 2014 World Cup final and the first kick of the 2018 World Cup.

It's been a long wait, a long four years but the next edition of the month-long festival of football is finally upon us. 

Brazil, Germany and France lead the way in the pre-kick off favourites charts but all of that will matter none to both Russia and Saudi Arabia when they emerge onto the Luzhniki pitch in front of a sell-out crowd.

Group A is far from a formality and both teams will look to get their campaigns off to the best possible start.