The opening game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be shown live on a movie-size screen at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills on Thursday morning.
The Fox telecast of the game between Russia and Saudi Arabia from Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow is set to begin at 8 a.m. Admission is free. Paley Center members receive preferred seating.
Games throughout the tournament will be shown at the Paley Center. Games that include a Spanish-speaking nation will be shown in Spanish, beginning with Friday’s 11 a.m. game between Portugal and Spain.
Saudi Arabia is 67th in the rankings compiled by FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, three spots ahead of Russia.
Saudi Arabia qualified for its first World Cup since 2006 by finishing second in its group behind Japan in the Asian Football Confederation qualifying.
Russia automatically got a spot in the 32-team tournament as the host nation.
Russia is winless in its past seven games, dating back to Oct. 10, including an 0-3-1 record in 2018. Saudi Arabia is 1-6-1 in its eight games since Nov. 10 and 0-3 in 2018.
Saudi Arabia’s roster consists of 20 players who play for club teams in Saudi Arabia and three in Spain. Russia’s roster consists of 21 players who play in Russia and one each in Belgium and Spain.
Saudi Arabian midfielder Salem Al-Dawsari and Russian midfielder Denis Cheryshev are teammates with the Spanish first division club Villarreal.
Saudi Arabia, known as the Green Falcons, will be competing in the World Cup for the fifth time. It has advanced past the group stage only in its 1994 World Cup debut, the lone time it won a World Cup game.
Russia is competing in the World Cup for the third time since the breakup of the Soviet Union. It has not advanced past the group stage. It most recently won a World Cup game in 2002.
The Soviet Union competed in seven World Cups, finishing fourth in 1966.