2018 World Cup hosts Russia will face Saudi Arabia at 7pm local time on Thursday at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium as the eagerly awaited football showpiece gets underway.
32 teams, 5 from Africa will face off in the 21st edition that will culminate in a final on 15th July.
The tournament played over 32 days will attract an estimated audience of 3 billion people across the world as Germany seeks to make history by becoming the first team to defend the World Cup trophy.
The showpiece has captured the attention of fans across the Country, with a majority expected to throng various entertainment joints in Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nakuru among other towns to watch the opening ceremony and the first match.
Africa hopes rest on Egypt, whose talisman Mohammed Salah remains a doubt for their first match against Uruguay, Senegal, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia.
Egypt which is in group A alongside the hosts Russia, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay will kick start the Africa offensive on Friday when they line up against Uruguay at 3pm local time.
Morocco on the other hand will face Iran on the same day at 6pm before the mouth watering clash between Portugal and Spain at 9pm on Friday night.
Nigeria which is group D alongside Argentina, Croatia and Iceland will face Croatia on Saturday at 10pm in its first match of the tournament.
Fellow Africa representative Tunisia has a date with England on Monday at 9pm local time, then face a tricky tie against Belgium before wrapping up its group matches against Panama.
Senegal will hope that Liverpool star Sadio Mane will be firing from all cylinders when they face Poland on Tuesday at 6pm, before playing Japan on 24th of June.
Kenyans are busy on social media expressing support for their favourites teams.
Arsenal die hard Waweru Maina is not sure where he will watch the first match but his love for Brazil is unequivocal. “Samba boys will win a record 6th title he says confidently.”
Nick Njari a Man United fan to the core is routing for France. The connection is obvious, Man United star Paul Pogba is expected to star for the Les Bleus.
Liverpool fans Tush Muya and his compatriot Karanja Kopite will be on different sides this time, with the former supporting Portugal while the latter is convinced that England will win the trophy for the first time since 1966.
The ladies aren’t left out either, perhaps in a bid to be on the winning side, Man United fan Waitherero Kariuki will be supporting Brazil, Germany, Spain among others and in the order stated.
Work is cut out for the 5 African teams as some must negotiate tough groups to even make it to the second round.
Since its expansion to 32 teams, not single team has ever defended the World Cup trophy. Man United fan Aduda Osumba is however optimistic that defending Champions Germany has the talent and experience to make history.
The journey starts today Thursday 14th June, a worthwhile experience for the football fans in the Country. Whoever wins the trophy will be determined on Sunday the 14th July, for the time being lets all enjoy the showpiece.