The World Cup continues this week as the action hots up in the group stages and plenty of Barelona stars will feature.
There’s some intriguing games too, although the highlight is undoubtedly Lionel Messi’s Argentina taking on Ivan Rakitic’s Croatia.
Elsewhere, Spain will be chasing their first win against Iran, Luis Suarez will expect to be in the goals against Saudi Arabia, and Yerry Mina’s Colombia make their World Cup bow.
Here’s a look at what Barcelona’s World Cup contingent are up to in Russia this week.
Monday June 20: Belgium vs. Panama
Belgium open up their campaign against Panama and are big favourites to start off with a win. Manager Roberto Martinez has said Thomas Vermaelen will sit this one out due to injury, but he is expected to return for their next game against Tunisia.
Tuesday June 19: Colombia vs. Japan
Colombia open their campaign tomorrow against Japan and we should see Mina in action for Jose Pekerman’s side. The team were impressive at World Cup 2014 and have some real stars including Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Davinson Sanchez. Group H is a tough one to call but a good start here will set Colombia up nicely.
Wednesday June 20: Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia, Spain vs. Iran
There have been a few surprises already at the World Cup but these two fixtures should produce goals, and plenty of them. Saudi Arabia shipped five to Russia on the opening day and Luis Suarez will surely be licking his lips at the thought of facing them on Wednesday. Spain will also be massive favourites to beat Iran after putting three past Portugal but being forced to settle for a draw. Surprisingly Iran top Group B after beating Morocco so Spain should not be too complacent.
Thursday June 21: France vs. Peru, Argentina vs; Croatia
Argentina against Croatia is the big one on Thursday after Jorge Sampaoli’s side could only draw against Iceland. The result means they really need a win on Thursday and they will have to play a heck of a lot better too. Of course all the pressure will be on Messi once again, but the GOAT can’t do it all by himself.
Elsewhere on Thursday we also get the chance to see Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti in action again as France take on Peru. Les Bleus opened up with a win over Australia but they were hardly at their best. Peru went down 1-0 to Denmark but they created plenty of chances and were a little unfortunate to lose which should make for an interesting game.
Friday June 22: Brazil vs. Costa Rica
Brazil are back on Friday and take on Costa Rica as they search for their first win. They looked set for all three points against Switzerland after Philippe Coutinho stuck one in the top corner. However, the Swiss hit back and Brazil couldn’t find a winner and will want to put that right against Costa Rice.
Saturday June 23: Germany vs Sweden, Belgium vs. Tunisia
Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s Germany face Sweden on Saturday and will have to bounce back from a shock defeat to Mexico. The Barcelona goalkeeper didn’t feature in that one and is unlikely to feature in this one either which is a huge shame really.
Vermaelen could return for Belgium’s second game of the tournament against Tunisia. The Red Devils are favourites to top their group and will be expected to win this one as well.
Sunday June 24: Poland vs. Colombia
Colombia round off the action on Sunday as they take on Poland in a game which sees Yerry Mina come up against goal machine Robert Lewandowski. Mina came in for a fair bit of stick towards the end of the season, and it will be interesting to see how he gets on against the Bayern Munich man.