The United States will not be there, but the show goes on nonetheless. It’s the 2018 World Cup — 63 matches (plus one consolation) over the course of a month to determine the greatest soccer superpower on the planet. Thirty-two teams have been split into eight groups of four for the first phase of the tournament — the group stage. Then, the top two in each group will advance to the knockout stage. Eventually, only one will be left standing. Perennial power Brazil is considered a narrow favorite to win the World Cup — behind a stout defense anchored by Marcelo, and a potent attack led by the brilliant Neymar. The defending champion Germans are considered the second choice by many — led by the superb Thomas Muller, one of only three players ever to have scored five goals in two different World Cups. Other top contenders include featuring all-time great midfielder Andres Iniesta, Portugal, with the incredible Cristiano Ronaldo, and Argentina — led by the great Lionel Messi. The tournament’s 64 matches will be played in 12 different stadiums across host nation Russia. Luzhniki Stadium, which seats 80,000 fans, will host the final on July 15. And Luzhniki Stadium will also host the first match on Thursday morning — as Russia opens the month-long tournament by squaring off against Saudi Arabia. The host nation is the lowest-ranked club in the field, placing 70th in FIFA’s rankings. Fortunately for them, they draw the second lowest-ranked squad on Thursday — Saudi Arabia is 67th. Coverage begins at 11:00 a.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on Fox in English (with JP Dellacamera and Tony Meola calling the action), and Telemundo in Spanish. The game can be streamed online by visiting Fox’s World Cup Hub. It can also be streamed on mobile or tablet via the Fox Sports Go app, which can be downloaded in Apple’s app store and the Google Play store.