Extra Time podcast: All set for Messi in action, Germany v Brazil final and a 25-hour train journey

In his chat with Jon Turner and Steve Luckings, staff writer John McAuley talks about his expectations ahead of his trip to Russia to cover the 2018 World Cup

Germany will have a chance to defend the World Cup title in Russia. Natacha Pisarenko / AP Photo
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The National's John McAuley flies to Russia to cover World Cup 2018 this weekend, but not before joining Jon Turner and Steve Luckings in our Abu Dhabi studio to preview what to expect from football's biggest international tournament.

With the host nation playing Saudi Arabia in the opener, Argentina perhaps featuring Lionel Messi for the final time and Egypt hoping to have a fully fit Mohamed Salah, there are plenty of storylines to keep up with.

We look at these talking points, give predictions and more in this episode of Extra Time.

Extra Time, produced by Kevin Jeffers, is the podcast from The National's sport desk. Subscribe to and rate the show on Apple Podcasts, or listen on AudioboomPocket Cast or your favourite podcasting app.


Read more on the 2018 World Cup:

Guides, predictions, galleries and where to watch in UAE

World Cup 2018 home kits ranked - in pictures