Sports

World Cup group stage: Watchability rankings

It’s World Cup week. Finally. The planet’s greatest sporting event, and a given quadrennium’s greatest month, kicks off on Thursday. And for that month, soccer will more or less have the sports world all to itself. Nations will shut down for days at a time. Public squares will fill. Wakeup and bed times will be adjusted.

And you, whether a casual sports fan or a diehard, will need to know when to call in sick to work; when to urge your favorite bar to open early; when to schedule family outings; when to run errands.

Yahoo Sports’ 2018 World Cup preview hub]

Very few people will watch every single game of a World Cup. There are 64 of them, after all. So we’ve put together a handy guide to the 2018 World Cup group stage. The following 1-48 ranking of the group games by watchability will help you decide which to mark on your calendar and which to skip.

Tier 1: Must-watch

View photos

Spain’s Sergio Ramos and Sergio Busquets have seen Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo before on the international stage. They’ll square off in 2018 World Cup Group B. (Getty)

Tier 2: If at all possible …

Group D preview]

Tier 3: Intrigue and first looks

View photos

Philippe Coutinho, Neymar and Gabriel Jesus lead a fearsome Brazil attack into the 2018 World Cup. (Getty)

Group F preview]

Group C preview]

Tier 4: Watch for one team, not the other

Group B preview]

View photos

Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba celebrate Griezmann’s goal in a recent friendly ahead of the 2018 World Cup. (Getty)

Tier 5: If you’re not busy …

you should watch every Mexico game.

Tier 7: Nap time

Henry Bushnell covers global soccer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at henrydbushnell@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell, and on Facebook.

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