All eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo when Portugal make their debut at Qatar 2022 on Thursday.
The 37-year-old, who is likely to play in his last World Cup, left Manchester United by mutual consent in dramatic circumstances this week after giving a sizzling interview with Piers Morgan on the eve of the tournament.
That has dominated preparation for his country’s clash against Ghana tonight, with Portugal hoping to become the big name to suffer a shock defeat in the opening game after both Argentina and Germany slipped.
The Group H clash is one of four other games taking place today, with games coming close and fast as part of the abridged winter schedule – here’s how to watch it live.
When will Portugal vs Ghana kick off?
Portugal vs Ghana kick off at 4pm at Stadium 974 in Doha after Group H rivals Uruguay and South Korea met earlier in the day.
It will be broadcast live on ITV, with set-up starting at 3pm. Mark Pougatch was joined in the studio by Roy Keane, Graeme Souness and Joe Cole, with commentary from Jon Champion and Ally McCoist.
The 2022 World Cup will be broadcast entirely on free-to-air television in the UK BBC and itv share rights.
All games are therefore also available free of charge in the live stream BBC iPlayeror, as in the case of the Portugal game, the new ITVX streaming platform.
What can you expect from Portugal vs Ghana?
The Ronaldo saga has dominated preparations for Portugal’s first group game but Bruno Fernandes insists the side are “100 per cent” focused on the World Cup.
Ahead of the Ghana clash, Ronaldo’s former Manchester United team-mate said: “We’re all 100 per cent focused on the national team and the World Cup. We are all aware of what we must do.
“We are in a championship that is every player’s dream and a competition that every player wants to play in.”
He added: “I’m not uncomfortable, I don’t have to choose sides. Cristiano has always been an inspiration to me so playing with him was a dream come true but we know nothing lasts forever.
“It was good while it lasted. We have to respect his decision whether we agree with it or not.”
And Ghana captain Andre Ayew warned against assuming Thursday’s headlines will prove to be a distraction for opponents.
He said: “It’s not our problem what happens in the Portuguese team. They are all great professionals playing on top teams and they will be ready for the World Cup whatever else happens.
“We go into this game with Portugal’s favorites on paper. But we have to show that what’s happening on the pitch is more important. We’re playing against a big team with top players, but we believe in ourselves and we’re going to make it very difficult for them.”
What other World Cup games are there today?
The action on Thursday began with Switzerland versus Cameroon at 10am at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah.
Group G’s opening game was broadcast on ITV, with set-up starting at 9am. Laura Woods moderated with commentary from Seb Hutchinson and Andros Townsend and studio analysis from Nigel de Jong, Nadia Nadim and Hal Robson-Kanu.
Attention then shifted to Group H, with Uruguay vs South Korea at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, starting at 1:00 p.m.
Live coverage switches to BBC One for the midday fight, with transmission starting at 12.45pm. Gabby Logan presents with commentary by Pien Meulensteen and Danny Murphy.
The last game is on Thursday Brazil vs Serbia in Group G, which kicks off at 7pm at Lusail Stadium.
BBC One shows the last game of the day, with set-up from 6.30pm. Gary Lineker will moderate coverage with Guy Mowbray and Martin Keown in communications.