Here’s how to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup live, online, and free in Australia

Roberto Firmino of Brazil in a training session in Sochi, Russia. Buda Mendes/Getty Images

The 2018 FIFA World Cup starts this week in Russia, and will run for the next four weeks.

It comes around every four years, and this year it will feature 32 teams and 64 games.

Here’s everything you need to know about each team, including their best players, and their odds to win.

Brazil is the favourite among experts to take out the top spot. Goldman Sachs even used AI to simulate 1 million possible outcomes, and arrived at Brazil as the winner.

You might have trouble if you’re expecting to just flick the TV on to watch the matches though, because it’s the first time that they won’t all be played on free-to-air TV in Australia.

In recent years, SBS used to be to go-to for the World Cup. However that’s not the case anymore, after Optus nabbed the rights.

There are a number of ways to watch the World Cup that don’t involve forking out exorbitant fees, signing on to long contract subscriptions, or figuring out tricky (and potentially legally dodgy) VPNs.

Here’s how to watch the 2018 World Cup in Australia.

If you need to see every single game as it happens

If you want 24/7 coverage, you’ll need to pay for it.

Your best bet is to sign up to the Optus Sport app, which costs $14.99 per month, and since the matches run through two months, it will set you back $30. You can cancel at any time.

Not only will Optus stream every single game live, the app will also have behind-the-scenes coverage like exclusive interviews with players, highlights and news. You can watch on your phone, tablet, web browser, Apple TV or Chromecast it to your TV.

If you’re already an Optus customer, you may already be eligible to use to the app without any further payment. You can check if you are eligible here.

If you want to see the most important games

If you just want to see the most important highlights, there are a few free options.

The Socceroos have three scheduled matches.

Game 1 (vs. France): Saturday June 16 at 8pm AEST, game 2 (vs. Denmark): Thursday June 21 at 10pm AEST, and game 3 (vs. Peru): Wednesday June 27 at 12am AEST.

While SBS won’t be streaming live coverage, they will be playing every Socceroos game, the “game of the day”, the Semis and the Final.

You can catch them on the SBS and SBS HD free-to-air TV channel, SBS On Demand website and mobile app, and SBS’s The World Game website.

However, that will only amount to 25 matches, which means you will miss out on seeing the other 39. Check the SBS broadcast schedule to see when each team is playing.

You can also watch select matches for free via the SBS 2018 FIFA World Cup website, the official 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia app, and on-demand match replays via the Optus Sport app via a free account subscription.

If you just want to know what everyone’s talking about

If you just want to know what’s going on so you can join in the conversation, why not head down to the pub to watch it there for free? Check out which venues will play the games here.

Tune into SBS radio, where matches will be broadcast in 64 different languages.

Alternatively, head to Business Insider Australia to read all of our 2018 FIFA World Cup coverage.