After four years of waiting, June 14th can’t really come any sooner – the debut date of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which takes place in Russia. The host nation will be, as tradition goes, opening the competition, with a game against Saudi Arabia – what better team to come up against during the first game of the competition?First stage – Group A, Luzhniki Stadium Moscow14 Jun 2018 – 18:00 Local time
Russia vs Saudi Arabia Match Preview
We’d love to analyze venues, history, and stats, but we’ve done all that in the past. Today, it’s all about the match between these two teams, and the betting ideas we have for it.
Russia Team News
Unfortunately for them, Russia’s home ground advantage is one of the few positives this team has coming into the game! Their current form is awful, failing to win any of their last 9 games, and these have all been friendlies. We all know these games don’t have the tension of official ones, and the Russian national team might have forgotten how such a game looks.
Thankfully, they have some very experienced players on their side, starting with goalkeeper Akinfeev. They’ll surely be keen to start their World Cup campaign with a win, with might just push them over the edge and send them to the knockout rounds. They have to score, though. They’ve conceded at least one goal in most of their recent outings.
Saudi Arabia Team News
Thankfully for them, Saudi Arabia doesn’t look too hot either. Normally a side which is around the worst records during World Cups, they surely want to at least achieve honorable results this year.
They’ve had a good qualifying run for Asian standards, but that doesn’t really mean a lot – the opponents they will face during the final tournament will undoubtedly be a lot stronger. Narrow losses against the likes of Italy and Germany show that the team does have some talent, although we can’t really place lots of emphasis on friendly games.
Possible Starting Lineups
Russia: Akinfeev, Zhirkov, Ignashevich, Kutepov, Mario Fernandes, Zobnin, Kuzyaev, Golovin, Dzagoev, Samedov, Smolov.
Saudi Arabia: Al-Mayuf, Al-Harbi, Omar Hawsawi, Osama Hawsawi, Al-Shahrani, Al-Faraj, Al-Khaibri, Al-Shehri, Al-Dawsari, Al-Jassim, Mohammad Al-Sahlawi.
At the end of the day, it might all come down to who wants it more. That being said, our ideas for betting on this first World Cup game are all very straightforward: under 2,5 goals, because neither team is particularly strong in front, they both have good defenses, and some emotion is bound to be around since it’s the first game of the tournament. We’d even go so far as to predict a correct score of 1-1, but if that doesn’t suit you, we’d go for a Saudi Arabia +1 or +1,5 bet. We don’t expect the Russians to win by any margin larger than 1 goal.
Betting odds are presented at the time of writing. Please check them with the respective betting site. *T&Cs apply to all betting offers and sign-up bonuses. 18+, please gamble responsibly.