Several big names have missed the World Cup due to injury. Despite the absences, the host nation has not lost a match in the opening round. In fact, the Albiceleste are expected to face Mexico with little resistance.
It is also reported that Italy will be without winger Georginio Wijnaldum, who has broken his leg. The Wolves striker has made only four appearances this season. But he is expected to return to action for his country.
Belgium have been without striker Romelu Lukaku for the first two matches. The forward will not be fit to play until at least the group stage against Croatia. Meanwhile, France are already without midfielder Paul Pogba.
Portugal are also without winger Cristiano Ronaldo, who is set to leave Old Trafford for Real Madrid. But Roberto Martinez is hoping the striker will recover in time for the final group game against Croatia.
Ecuador will start their World Cup campaign with a match against Qatar. Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso will not attend the opening game. But Ecuadorean midfielder Enner Valencia is expected to start the tournament. His team thought they had made a dream start when he headed in from the penalty spot.
Despite the absence of Karim Benzema, Didier Deschamps has confirmed that the French forward will not be a part of the squad for the World Cup. Benzema, who won the Ballon d’Or in 2010, will miss the tournament with a left thigh injury. Benzema will join Belgium in the group stage, but he will not play in their first game against Canada.
The first match for the host nation is scheduled for November 22. But the governing body has moved the start date by a day. The tournament will begin at a time that allows for Qatar to cope with the high temperatures. In fact, the tournament will start at 5pm on November 21 to allow teams to adapt.
Australia will also be without winger Martin Boyle, who has a knee injury. However, winger Alexis Saelemaekers and goalkeeper Kamil Grabara have been included in the squad. The Socceroos are also without Doneil Henry, who is out with a shoulder injury. Similarly, Tunisia have no injury worries ahead of their opening match against Denmark.
England will also be without Leicester star James Maddison, who has not trained with the rest of the squad. Leicester midfielder Jamie Vardy is also missing, with Leicester defender Richard Ofori also injured. England will play Germany in their World Cup opener on November 18.
During the first day of training, the host nation has not received any major injury concerns. Nonetheless, there are a few players who are not at their best. However, the squad is said to be very strong. The team is believed to be stronger than it was during the 1966 tournament.
The hosts will be supported by the official World Cup soundtrack, entitled Dreamers. The track is performed by Korean singer Jung Kook. The opening ceremony will take place before the match.