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6 of the most awkwardly timed World Cup games for home-bound fans

Goodbye sleep pattern.

Football usually produces afternoon or evening kick-offs, but with 32 nations involved in the 2018 World Cup, some fans are going to have to get up early or stay up late to watch their side.

With that in mind, which fans will have it toughest watching from home when their teams play?

1. Iran v Spain – 22:30

Iran's Sardar Azmoun plays in a football match against Russia
(Nikolay Alexandrov/AP)

Iran’s game against Spain will be their second group fixture, and therefore will definitely have something riding on it.

Iran fans who want to watch however will have to stay up late, with kick-off coming at 22:30 local time, and the game due to finish after midnight.

2. Japan v Senegal – 00:00

Japan's Shinji Kagawa leaps for the ball against Paraguay
(Kerstin Joensson/AP)

Likewise, Japan’s second game, against Senegal, will prove crucial to their hopes in a group of well-matched sides.

Unlike Iran however, Japan’s game will kick off even later, at midnight local time. Someone get the coffee on…

3. Australia v Peru – 00:00

Australia's Tim Cahill
(Tim Ireland/AP)

A little further south, fans of the Socceroos could be fighting both nerves and sleep with kick-off for their final game against Peru scheduled for 00:00 for those on the east coast of the country.

In a group with France and Denmark, it’s possible this will be Australia’s least difficult game. Might Tim Cahill et al secure progression to the knockout stages in the early hours?

4. Russia v Saudi Arabia – 03:00

Russia v New Zealand at the 2017 Fifa Confederations Cup
(Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport)

Russia being an absolutely massive country means it spans loads of time zones, so while those in Moscow should have no problem watching the first game of the tournament – Russia v Saudi Arabia – those in the eastern town of Anadyr will have to get up early.

Three in the morning to be precise. Ouch.

5. Colombia v Japan – 07:00

Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates a goal
(Martin Mejia/AP)

Colombia’s first group game meanwhile won’t start at a time as awkward as that, but will in all probability require watching with breakfast in hand.

Playing Japan at the Mordovia Arena, their World Cup campaign will literally kick off as the sun rises for fans at home.

6. Mexico v Sweden – 09:00

A football match between Denmark and Mexico
(Lars Moeller/AP)

And last but not least, as the working day gets under way in Mexico City, the national team will probably be playing a crucial final fixture against Sweden.

Both teams are grouped with Germany, so the odds suggest one of them will have to fight for the runner-up position in Group F, and they’ll do so at quite the inconvenient time, for fans in Mexico City at least, of 09:00.

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