The games are coming thick and fast in the shortened 2022 World Cup, with four group stage matches left to enjoy today.
After Argentina succumbed to a shock 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, the shocks continued yesterday with Germany conceding two late goals and losing to Japan, though Spain made short work of Costa Rica in a 7-0 defeat.
Today, favorites Brazil make their first appearance at Qatar 2022, while we will also see Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time since his dramatic departure from Manchester United – so you can watch all the matches live.Read:Raging Jim Goodwin rips into ‘cheating’ Ryan Porteous as Aberdeen boss goes tonto
Which World Cup matches are on TV today?
Thursday’s action starts with Switzerland v Cameroonwhich starts at 10am (all times are for UK – Qatar is three hours ahead) at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah.
The opening match of Group G will be broadcast on ITV, with the build-up starting at 9am. Laura Woods hosts, with commentary from Seb Hutchinson and Andros Townsend, and studio analysis from Nigel de Jong, Nadia Nadim and Hal Robson-Kanu.
Attention then shifts to Group H, with Uruguay vs South Korea at 1pm at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan.
Live coverage switches to BBC One for the lunchtime clash, with broadcast starting at 12.45pm. Gabby Logan presents, with commentary from Pien Meulensteen and Danny Murphy.Read:Are Man United BACK? Alex Crook praises the turnaround from Erik ten Hag's team! – talkSPORT
Next is Portugal vs Ghana in Group H, which starts at 4 p.m. at Stadium 974 in Doha.
That program is on ITV from 3pm, with Mark Pougatch joined in the studio by Roy Keane, Graeme Souness and Joe Cole, and Jon Champion and Ally McCoist providing commentary.
Thursday’s last game Brazil vs Serbia in Group G, which starts at 7 p.m. at Lusail Stadium.
BBC One shows the last game of the day, with build-up from 6.30pm. Gary Lineker anchors the coverage, with Guy Mowbray and Martin Keown on communications.
Can I watch on BBC iPlayer or ITVX?
According to the TV licensing website, you have to pay for a TV license to watch BBC iPlayer, and this applies “live, catch-up or on demand”, with “any device and provider you use”.
It adds: “Remember, you still need a TV license to watch live on any channel, TV service or streaming service.” This means you’ll also need one to watch live World Cup action on the ITVX service (formerly ITV Hub).Read:World Cup 2022: Wales v England: ‘Welsh will try to win with emotion, not tactics’
However, you don’t need a TV license to watch non-BBC programs on online catch-up services, so you’re still allowed to watch ITV’s World Cup highlights (but not the BBC) after they air.
A TV license costs £159 a year for both homes and businesses and covers all TV sets, laptops, tablets, phones and other devices that can receive a TV signal in one home.
You can check if you need to buy one on the TV licensing website here, and you can buy your license from the link here.
What can you expect from the World Cup today?
All eyes will be on Brazil and Portugal when they make their first appearance in Qatar.
The Ronaldo saga dominated the run-up to Portugal’s opening group game, but Bruno Fernandes insists the side is “100 per cent focused” on the World Cup.
Ahead of the Ghana game, Ronaldo’s now ex-Manchester United team-mate said: “We are all 100 per cent focused on the national team and the World Cup. We are all aware of what we have to do.
“We are in a championship that is every player’s dream and a league where every player wants to play.”
He added: “I don’t feel uncomfortable, I don’t have to take sides. Cristiano has always been an inspiration to me, so it was a dream come true to be able to play with him, but we know that nothing lasts forever.
“It was good while it lasted. We have to respect his decision whether we agree with it or not.”
And Ghana captain Andre Ayew warned against assuming the headlines will distract their opponents on Thursday.
He said: “It is not our problem what happens within the Portuguese team. They are all great professionals who play in top teams and they will be ready for the World Cup no matter what happens.
“We are going into this match with the Portuguese favorites on paper. But we have to show that it is more important what happens on the pitch. We are playing against a big team with top players, but we believe in ourselves and will make it very difficult for them .”
Brazil enter their showdown with Serbia as the pre-tournament favourites, but their captain Thiago Silva says the Seleção face “fierce competition” in Qatar.
It is now 20 years since the South American giants lifted the trophy. However, Brazil is number one in the FIFA world rankings and Silva urged fans to “please believe in us” as they aim to do better than they did in 2018, when they were beaten by Belgium in the quarter-finals.
He said: “We know it’s a fierce competition and we had to be ready, first of all for the first game.
“We all know how important it is to deal with our nerves in the first game and in that sense we are confident that we will put in a good performance.
“We really believe in everything we have done so far and are about to enter the World Cup for the first time in a very favorable position, in the sense that we are healthy in all respects.
“What I can tell the Brazilian fans is that you have to believe in us. Rest assured, we are ready to do a great World Cup.”
Neymar needs just two goals to match Pele’s all-time national scoring record, and his captain said he is confident the striker – who has had mixed fortunes in previous tournaments – can live up to it on the biggest stage.
Silva said: “Now with a different preparation, without injuries and without worries, we see a better Neymar.
“He is humble and our group will make Neymar feel even more comfortable with us. We will share our responsibilities as players and that will help us move forward.
“Our interaction will help him play better and we should take advantage of this best Neymar mode.”
Additional Press Association reporting