Yet again Scotland won’t be there but the big kick-off is today and all eyes are now firmly fixed on the World Cup in Russia.
The action starts at 4pm when the hosts take on Saudi Arabia in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
The Tele’s build-up starts as, group by group, we give you the lowdown on the 32 teams that’ll be doing battle.
Trying not to leave you feeling too left out by the Tartan Army’s absence, we’ll also provide a local link, tenuous or otherwise, to each participating nation.
They are attempting to become the seventh host nation to lift the trophy but, if they do, it would be one of the biggest shocks in the game’s history.
Head coach Stanislav Cherchesov’s team simply lack the necessary quality and while they should safely negotiate their group, are unlikely to go much further in the business end of the competition.
Star players: Denis Cheryshev, Aleksandr Golovin.
Local Link: Dundee United’s last competitive European game was a 5-0 defeat to Dynamo Moscow on the outskirts of the Russian capital back in August 2012.
It’s the only time either United or Dundee have faced up to Russian opposition in Europe.
If this was the old Fifa you might suspect Saudi Arabia being in Russia’s group was not by chance. Their presence should help the hosts get through to the next stage.
The Saudis, while a decent side, will do well to avoid defeat in all three of their games.
Star player: Salem Al-Dawsari.
Local link: Back in 1989, Saudi Arabia were based at Dens Park for the group stage of the U/15 World Cup. They went on to win the tournament by beating Scotland in the final at Hampden – amid, it should be said, accusations of them fielding over-age players.
They could be the surprise packages of Group A, though with Liverpool’s Mo Salah battling for fitness after dislocating a shoulder in the Champions League Final, goals could be a problem.
With the likes of Mohamed Elneny of Arsenal and Aston Villa’s Ahmed Elmohamady in their line-up, they are not quite a one-man team.
Star player: Mo Salah.
Local link: United legend Maurice Malpas made remarkable comeback from a serious knee injury to face the Egyptians in a 3-1 Pittodrie defeat for Scotland as they warmed up for the 1990 World Cup.
And Dundee goalie Elliott Parish played for England in an U/20s World Cup in Egypt back in 2009.
Twice winners of the World Cup, a third triumph is highly unlikely, but the Uruguayans are a side most of the big guns would like to avoid.
With Barcelona striker Luis Suarez in their ranks they will always carry a big goal threat, though having finished the last two World Cups in disgrace, just getting through these finals without mishap might be his biggest achievement.
Star player: Luis Suarez.
Local link: Dundee United have signed three Uruguayans, though between them Juan Ferreri, Carlos Marcora and Edison Machin managed just two appearances.
One-time national team skipper Machin did look quality but passport problems led to his stay being a brief one.