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Russia vs Saudi Arabia - World Cup 2018 Preview and Odds


Published on: 11/06/2018

Russia vs Saudi Arabia - World Cup 2018 Preview and Odds

June 14, 2018 16:00pm - Luzhniki Stadium

World Cup Russia 2018

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will finally get underway on Thursday afternoon when hosts Russia take on outsiders Saudi Arabia.

Russia may be favourites to win the game but they come into the tournament on the back of a seven-game winless run. In their defence, they have faced some top class teams in that time including Argentina, Spain, Brazil and France. Their World Cup preparations finished with 1-1 draw against Turkey in Moscow.

The pressure of hosting the tournament will be immense and the team will be desperate to at least make the knockout stages. They will hope that home advantage gives them some extra momentum. However, if they lose or draw on the opening day, it will leave them in a precarious position with tricky games against Uruguay and Egypt to follow.

Coach Stanislav Cherchesov currently has the worst ever win percentage of any Russian national team boss, so hopes aren’t exactly high ahead of this event.

Opponents Saudi Arabi have had their own issues having worked under three different coaches in less than a year. Current incumbent Juan Antonio Pizzi coached Chile to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup where they were beaten 1-0 by Germany. However, he failed to take them to Russia after falling 3-0 to Brazil in their final qualification game.

His tenure has been an experimental one and his preferred team selection is not clear but his team were not disgraced in recent friendly defeats to Italy and Germany.

Russia probable XI:

Akinfeev, Fernandes, Ignashevich, Granat, Kudryashov, Zobnin, Samedov, Dzagoev, Golovin, Zhirkov, Smolov

The pressure of hosting the tournament will be immense and the team will be desperate to at least make the knockout stages. They will hope that home advantage gives them some extra momentum. However, if they lose or draw on the opening day, it will leave them in a precarious position with tricky games against Uruguay and Egypt to follow.

Coach Stanislav Cherchesov currently has the worst ever win percentage of any Russian national team boss, so hopes aren’t exactly high ahead of this event.

Opponents Saudi Arabi have had their own issues having worked under three different coaches in less than a year. Current incumbent Juan Antonio Pizzi coached Chile to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup where they were beaten 1-0 by Germany. However, he failed to take them to Russia after falling 3-0 to Brazil in their final qualification game.

His tenure has been an experimental one and his preferred team selection is not clear but his team were not disgraced in recent friendly defeats to Italy and Germany.

Russia probable XI:

Akinfeev, Fernandes, Ignashevich, Granat, Kudryashov, Zobnin, Samedov, Dzagoev, Golovin, Zhirkov, Smolov

Saudi Arabia probable XI:

Al Maiouf, Al-Breik, Hawsawi, Hawsawi, Al-Harbi, Otayf, Al-Shehri, Al-Jasssim, AL-Faraj, Al-Dawsari, Al-Sahlawi

Recent Form (All comps)

Russia: DLLLD

Saudi Arabia: LLLWW

Betting odds and tips

These teams have only met once before, back in 1993, when Saudi Arabia prevailed by a 4-2 scoreline. Neutrals might hope for a similar scoreline but it seems unlikely. However, both teams can be suspect defensively so expect both to score in the opener.

You can back Both Teams to Score at 6/4 and a scoreline of 1-1 is available at a price of 8/1 or better.

By Neil Morris

Russia v Saudi Arabia Live Betting Odds - World Cup 2018

Home Win
4/9
Draw
10/3
Away Win
17/2

Published on: 11/06/2018

Any odds displayed within this preview were correct at the time of publishing (11/06/2018 16:44:08) but are subject to change.