The World Cup moved up a notch on Day 2 as the three games produced 12 goals, eight of those coming in England's 6-2 win over Iran.
There was also a stuttering 2-0 win for the Netherlands over Senegal while Gareth Bale was the first Welsh scorer since Terry Medwin’s 1958 strike against Hungary as the Dragons fought back for a 1-1 draw with USA.
Tuesday is set to provide a great feast of football with four matches kicking off between 10am and 7pm – so basically if you want to take it all in, you'll have to set aside a 12-hour window.
One of the key plot-lines around this tournament is Lionel Messi's latest attempt to get his hands on that World Cup trophy.
He’ll turn 39 during the next instalment in North America so surely this is his last chance. Although this is Messi so you never know.
His four previous assaults on the tournament have resulted in three knockout defeats by Germany – in the 2006 and 2010 quarter-finals and the 2014 final – and a round of 16 loss to France four years ago.
The player has found his mojo again at PSG, and 12 goals and 14 assists in 19 games this season points to a player heading into the World Cup in confident form.
The same can be said of Lionel Scaloni’s team on a whole as they’re on an incredible 36-match unbeaten run – and a win today would match the international record of 37 currently held by Italy.
Lautaro Martínez, like Messi, scored seven goals in qualifying and the Inter Milan man could be one of the attacking stars in Qatar.
It’s 20 years and five months since the Republic of Ireland defeated Saudi Arabia 3-0 in Yokohama, Robbie Keane, Gary Breen and Damien Duff on the scoresheet.
That was Ireland’s last group game while Saudi Arabia have been back twice, in 2006 and 2018 – and they performed well at the latter as Uruguay really struggled to break them down before recording a 1-0 win while they earned a 2-1 win over Egypt.
They displayed a mean defence during qualifying as they conceded just 10 goals in 18 games having competed in the second round and third round group stages.
At the other end of the pitch, winger Salem Al-Dawsari and Saleh Al-Shehri will try and provide some attacking oomph.
Bar a brief spell earlier this year, Denmark have been ranked in the top 10 in the world for two years now so Kasper Hjulmand’s side carry some expectation into Qatar.
Irish fans need little introduction to what they have at their disposal having been pipped to Euro 2020 qualification by the Danes with the countries drawing 1-1 in both their group fixtures. They would go onto reach the semi-finals where they’d lose out to hosts England after extra-time.
That run came after the devastation of Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest during their group game with Finland. Two years on, the now Manchester United midfielder will be a key man with the side fancied to get out of a group also featuring France and Australia – something they have managed in four of their five previous visits to the tournament.
Denmark have been one of the most vocal critics of the human rights records in Qatar with FIFA rejecting their request to wear pro-human rights shirts in training. They were also one of the nations set to wear a 'One Love’ armband, but now will not after a threat of player sanctions.
Hjulmand’s men are warm favourites for this opener but they just have to look at Tunisia’s first game in the 2018 World Cup for a reason to be cautious.
England looked like they had a soft starting fixture on paper, but they needed a 91st minute close-range header from Harry Kane to earn a 2-1 win.
Keeping clean sheets at the World Cup has traditionally been a big problem for Tunisia, managing it just once in their 15 games. The exception was in 1978 against then holders West Germany.
They are the second highest ranked African team in Qatar (29) behind Senegal (20), but they were given a scare in their qualification play-off as they defeated Mali by a single goal over two legs – an own goal from Moussa Sissako proving decisive.
They warmed up for this game with a 2-0 friendly win over higher-ranked Iran. On reflection that may not seem as impressive given Iran’s capitulation against England on Monday.
Every four years, the world seems to fall in love with the colour and passion that Mexico bring to the World Cup. With 60,000 fans estimated to have made the trip, expect nothing different in Qatar.
‘El Tri’ arrive here intent on ending the curse of the round of 16. Not the snappiest of titles but it is a real problem for the country as they have exited at that stage on the last seven occasions.
Raul Jiminez of Wolves is an injury doubt, but he did play 45 minutes warm-up friendly against Sweden as he tries to get over a groin strain. The experienced Henry Martín may deputise instead in this opener.
Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa is set to start too in what will be his fifth World Cup.
Mexico finished second behind Canada on goal difference in CONCACAF qualifying and if there was one concern it was the fact that they managed just 17 goals in 14 games.
Poland had no such concerns in their qualification campaign as they racked up 30 goals in 10 games and it’s no surprise that Robert Lewandowski – yet to score at a World Cup - top scored for them with eight goals. Adam Buksa and Karol Świderski had five goals apiece. The latter is not included in their squad.
As well as Lewandowski, Piotr Zielinski is someone to really get excited about given his good form with Napoli this season. The Naples outfit are flying it in Serie A, going into the World Cup break eight points clear as they chase down a first league title since 1990.
Mexico, the venue not the team, will spark warm memories for Poland because it was there that they last made it out of the groups, back in 1986. They’ll be hoping for more good times today.
Drama usually follows France into major tournaments and for the current World Cup champions, injuries have been the story-line in the build up to their opener against Australia.
On the eve of the tournament Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema was forced to withdraw with a thigh injury, joining players such as Christopher Nkunku, N’Golo Kante, Presnel Kimpembe and Paul Pogba who also miss out.
Didier Deschamps can still call on squad laden with talent though and in Kylian Mbpappe they have one of the star names on show in Qatar.
There are suggestions that Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate has made a late charge for a starting spot after some brilliant showings for the Reds.
As well as those injuries, France have the weight of history working against them. That is, defending the title is a rare achievement. Italy managed it in 1938 and Brazil did it in 1962. Given the players they are missing, they will face a huge challenge to join that elite group.
Australia will hope to take advantage of that uncertainty and they will have their eyes on getting out of the group stage even if potential points are likely to lie elsewhere.
They managed that just once before when they advanced in 2006 thanks to Harry Kewell’s late equaliser against Croatia in their third match.
They will need to really pick it up from qualifying though where they finished behind Japan and Saudi Arabia in the group stages and needed hard-fought play-off wins over the United Arab Emirates [2-1] and Peru [after penalties].
Graham Arnold is likely to employ a 4-5-1 formation with Celtic’s Aaron Mooy playing a protecting role in front of the defence. The Socceroos will be aiming to hit sides on the counter, but with one of the oldest squads at the tournament, it remains to be seen how effective they will be at that.
They will look to Mitchell Duke for their goals and the 31-year-old has eight in 21 appearances for his country.
Australia are playing in their fifth World Cup in a row with Tim Cahill featuring in the previous four. He retired from the international scene in November 2018 but the Doha-based former Everton player did get the boots back on to help the side with their preparations.
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