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World Cup 2018: Rain, storms to threaten start of knockout stage on Sunday

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Adam Douty, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
June 30, 2018, 11:37:52 AM EDT

Following the end of group stage play at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the knockout stage began this weekend.

Weather will become a big concern in Moscow on Sunday as Spain takes on Russia. Dry weather is expected for the Croatia-Denmark match in Nizhny Novgorod.

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Denmark's Simon Kjaer, (red shirt 4), heads the ball under pressure from France's Raphael Varane (white shirt 4) during the group C match between Denmark and France at the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

A potent storm system will move through Moscow into Sunday, sparking numerous thunderstorms.

Some of the thunderstorms can be heavy and gusty. People traveling to Moscow in advance of the match will have to be on alert for potential flight and rail delays.

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A man holds hail from a thunderstorm near the Kazan Arena during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Kazan, Russia, on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

The match itself could also be impacted by rain and lightning, which could affect pitch conditions or even force delays. Fans should prepare for the possibility to seek shelter should a thunderstorm threaten during the match.

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The other match on Sunday, taking place in Nizhny Novgorod, is expected to remain dry. It will be warm with a kick-off temperature 26 C (78 F).

Knockout stage matches will continue on Monday in Samara and Rostov-On-Don, with dry and hot weather for both events. A kick-off temperature near 31 C (88 F) is forecast in Samara for the match between Brazil and Mexico.

The Round of 16 will conclude on Tuesday with matches in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and rain will once again be a risk to impact the events.

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