World Cup 2018 match venues: Where will England be playing in Russia?

Where will England be playing at the World Cup? Here we guide you through their Group G locations and all the venues at Russia 2018.

Gareth Southgate’s men face Tunisia in Volgograd on June 18 and Panama in Nizhny Novgorod on June 24 before playing Belgium in Kaliningrad on June 28.

Read on to find out more about those three places and the rest of the stadiums at this summer’s showpiece…

Volgograd (Volgograd Arena)

England’s opening World Cup game will take place at the Volgograd Arena. The stadium sits on the banks of the Volga River, one of Russia’s main waterways. FC Rotor Volgograd will move into the new stadium upon completion. The team famously beat Manchester United in the 1995 UEFA Cup, but have since dropped down the leagues and now lie in the Russia Second Division.

The Motherland Calls statue overlooks the World Cup stadium in Volgograd
The Motherland Calls statue overlooks the World Cup stadium in Volgograd

What is there for the fans to do?

Volgograd is a Soviet-style city, full of wide boulevards and grand, Stalinist architecture. The city is long, narrow and not particularly big. Fans can jump on and off the tram to nip between the stadium and the city centre. Down by the river, bars and restaurants bathe in the evening sun, not far from a small park full of flowers and statues. Throughout the day, but particularly in the evenings, little bugs and midges gather near the water, meaning that insect repellent is a must. The Fan Zone on the banks of the Volga will be an excellent place to watch games and soak up the sun.

What is Volgograd famous for?

Volgograd was formerly known as Stalingrad and was besieged during World War II. The city was all but destroyed as millions of citizens and military personnel died during the Battle of Stalingrad, from 1941 to 1942, and those who died are remembered throughout the city.The Motherland Calls monument is the city’s defining feature and towers high above the city. The statue is a call to arms and is a poignant reminder of the huge losses the Soviet Union suffered.

Capacity: 45,568

Matches: Four group games including England v Tunisia

Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novgorod Stadium)

England will face World Cup debutants, Panama, at the new Nizhny Novgorod Arena. The stadium sits at the convergence of two rivers, the Volga and the Oka and the stadium’s mosaic facade is intended to replicate the waves of the river. Just over an hour from Moscow by plane, the city is easily accessible for fans. A new airport, more bridges and a cable car will make Nizhny, as it is fondly known, a good spot for visiting supporters.

England will face Panama at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Russia
England will face Panama at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Russia

What is there for the fans to do?

Fans will gather on the central pedestrian boulevard, a long, wide expanse of bars, restaurants and shops that spill out onto the street. Organisers will close the busy intersection at the end of this street to make way for a 15,000 capacity Fan Zone. From there, visitors can nip into Nizhny’s old, fortified Kremlin, which houses government buildings and a World War II monument. The Fan Zone and all central areas of the city are close together, including Russia’s longest staircase, which descends from the city’s Kremlin to the banks of the Volga.

What is Nizhny famous for?

Founded in 1221 and bursting with history, this city is perfectly suited to hosting World Cup matches, and will give visiting fans plenty to explore. During the Soviet Union years, Nizhny was closed to foreigners due to its armament factories, and renamed after the writer Maxim Gorky, who was born there. He is one of many famous Russian figures to have lived and worked in Nizhny, a source of pride for local residents. The largest factory for painting Russian ‘matryoshka’ dolls is in the Nizhny Novgorod region.

Capacity: 45,331

Matches: Four group games including England v Panama, one last-16 game, one quarter-final.

Kaliningrad (Kaliningrad Stadium)

England’s final group game and potential crunch match with Belgium will take place in Kaliningrad, Russia’s Baltic exclave and the tournament’s most westerly venue. The stadium will host FC Baltika Kaliningrad matches after the World Cup, a team in the Russian second division. Kaliningrad is a two-hour flight from Moscow.

The Kaliningrad stadium will host England's final group game against Belgium
The Kaliningrad stadium will host England’s final group game against Belgium

What is there for the fans to do?

Sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania, Russia’s westernmost city feels a little more European than other parts of the country, which will make British fans feel right at home. Cobbled streets and leafy parks make this a pleasant town to walk around. The Pregolya River runs alongside wide promenades and under little wooden bridges. Visitors can take in everything from medieval cathedrals to slightly run-down blocks of flats, relics from two different eras. The Fan Fest will bring the otherwise unassuming Central Square to life. Victory Square, home to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, and the ‘Fishermen’s Village’ down by the river, will no doubt be popular spots for fans to gather for a drink or a bite to eat.

What is Kaliningrad famous for?

The Soviet Union seized Kaliningrad from the Germans in 1945 and the city has its proud military past on show. Fans will be treated to a wide array of military paraphernalia as the river widens and heads to Baltic Sea. Ships, submarines, planes and missiles appear as the bridges turn from wood to metal. The city is perhaps best known as being a small part of Russia within the European Union. However, a key feature of the city is the amber it produces, the region’s primary export.

Capacity: 35,212

Matches: Four group games including England v Belgium

Yekaterinburg (Yekaterinburg Arena)

The most easterly city hosting matches, situated at the foot of the Ural mountains, and the city where members of the royal family were executed following the October 1917 revolution. The stadium is home to FC Ural, and was initially built in 1953.

Capacity: 35,696

Matches: Four group games.

The Yekaterinburg Arena undergoing renovation work for the 2018 World Cup
The Yekaterinburg Arena undergoing renovation work for the 2018 World Cup

Kazan (Kazan Arena)

Kazan is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan and is home to 1.2 million people. The stadium was built for the World University Games in 2013 and is home to local club Rubin Kazan. It was designed by the same firm of architects behind Wembley Stadium and the Emirates Stadium.

Capacity: 44,779

Matches: Four group games, one last-16 game, one quarter-final.

The Kazan Arena, home of Rubin Kazan, will be used at the 2018 World Cup
The Kazan Arena, home of Rubin Kazan, will be used at the 2018 World Cup

Moscow (Luzhniki Stadium)

The main venue for the finals will host the first and last match. Built in the 1950s, it was used during the 1980 Olympic Games and hosts most matches played by the Russian national team and at various times has been home to city clubs Spartak, CSKA and Torpedo. Manchester United fans will remember it fondly – it was here, in driving rain, that the club won their third European title by beating Chelsea on penalties in 2008.

Capacity: 81,006

Matches: Four group games (including opening match), one last-16 game, one semi-final, final.

The showpiece arena of the tournament is the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow
The showpiece arena of the tournament is the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow

Moscow (Spartak Stadium)

Home, as the name suggests, to Spartak Moscow, who despite their reputation and huge fanbase had never truly had a stadium to call their own until it was built. Opened in 2014.

Capacity: 43,298

Matches: Four group games, one last-16 game.

Spartak Stadium in Moscow is one of two arenas to be used in the Russian capital
Spartak Stadium in Moscow is one of two arenas to be used in the Russian capital

Rostov-on-Don (Rostov Arena)

An historic city famed for its showcasing of Cossack culture, it sits on the banks of the Don river one thousand kilometres to the south-east of Moscow. FC Rostov will move in once the tournament is finished.

Capacity: 45,145

Matches: Four group games, one last-16 game.

The Rostov Arena will be among those used at the 2018 World Cup
The Rostov Arena will be among those used at the 2018 World Cup

St Petersburg (St Petersburg Stadium)

The old imperial capital can probably lay claim to having the secondary venue at the tournament, as the stadium hosts some big games including what could be a make-or-break second match for the hosts. It will also host three group matches at the pan-European Euro 2020 finals, as well as one quarter-final, and be the future home to Zenit St Petersburg.

Capacity: 68,134

Matches: Four group games (including Russia’s second match), one last-16 game, one semi-final, third-place play-off.

Statue of Soviet politician Sergei Kirov outside St Petersburg's Krestovsky stadium
Statue of Soviet politician Sergei Kirov outside St Petersburg’s Krestovsky stadium

Samara (Samara Arena)

Capital of the Samara region and home to the offices of Russian state when they were evacuated from Moscow during the Second World War. The dome-shaped stadium will play host to Krylya Sovetov after the tournament.

Capacity: 44,807

Matches: Four group games (including Russia’s third and final group match), one last-16 game, one quarter-final.

Image of the construction site of the Samara Arena in August 2017
Image of the construction site of the Samara Arena in August 2017

Saransk (Mordovia Arena)

The capital of the Mordovia region has a population of just over 300,000. The stadium will be reduced to 25,000 capacity after the tournament, with the space being freed up for other indoor sports on the same complex. It will, though, be home to FC Mordovia.

Capacity: 44,442

Matches: Four group games.

Photo of the construction site of the Mordovia Arena in Saransk in 2017
Photo of the construction site of the Mordovia Arena in Saransk in 2017

Sochi (Fisht Stadium)

The resort city on the edge of the Black Sea hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics, and the Fisht Stadium was purpose-built for those Games. It is due to be a training – and match – venue for the Russian national team after the 2018 finals.

Capacity: 47,700

Matches: Four group games, one last-16 game, one quarter-final.

The Fisht Stadium in Sochi during construction works ahead of the World Cup
The Fisht Stadium in Sochi during construction works ahead of the World Cup

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