Russia vs Saudi Arabia – Tips and Betting Predictions

russia-vs-saudi-arabia

14th June 2018 – 18:00 Local Time | Group A | Stadium: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
TV: TSN

Russia will be looking to get off to a good start at the World Cup 2018 as they open proceedings in Moscow. The hosts will face Saudi Arabia, who are generally perceived as the outsiders in Group A. With games against Uruguay and Egypt to come, this is seen as Russia’s best opportunity to collect three points.

Despite their underdog status, Saudi Arabia netted 16 times during qualification and will fancy their chances of causing an upset at the Luzhniki Stadium. They qualified ahead of Australia and looked well-organised in each of their matches.

Russia were below-par during Euro 2016 but they’ve undergone a transformation in the interim period and new manager Stanislav Cherchesov has been tasked with reducing the average age of the squad. Familiar faces such as Alan Dzagoev remain in the squad, but they are complemented by younger players, many of whom will be hoping to make an impression on the international stage.

These two sides rarely meet and their last encounter came back in 1993 when Saudi Arabia beat Russia 4-2 in an international friendly. World Cup hosts always tend to perform above expectations and only South Africa in 2010 have failed to progress beyond the Group Stages. Neither of these teams are World Cup regulars, with Saudi Arabia failing to qualify for the last two tournaments, whilst Russia have only been involved in three World Cups since switching from the Soviet Union. They didn’t qualify for the 2006 or 2010 tournament. Russia vs Saudi Arabia Predictions Saudi Arabia could pose a significant danger if underestimated in this tournament. Russia can’t afford to take them lightly and the hosts are fancied to start the World Cup with three points.
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Cherchesov’s side should be much better than in their previous World Cup outings and they will be confident of getting their campaign off to a winning start. They cannot afford to lose this opener and as the host nation, there is plenty of expectation on them and they are unlikely to let their backers down. They are available at 1.33 with Sports Interaction.

It’s 1.93 for Russia to be winning at both half time and full time. They will need to get off to a quick start and settle the nerves so this looks a great bet.

Russia aren’t likely to have it all their own way and they will be happy to come away with a narrow win here and this is the most likely outcome for this opening encounter.

Click on the image to bet with Sports Interaction A 1-0 Russia win is available at 4.44, whilst a 2-0 scoreline is also widely predicted and can be backed at 4.55 with Bodog Sports. William Hill are offering 1.64 for Russia to Win to Nil, and this is highly recommended. Opening World Cup games are rarely high-scoring affairs and this could be a slow-burner. It’s 1.66 for Under 2.5 Goals in this encounter.
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Fyodor Smolov is Russia’s biggest threat going forward and the striker should be backed at 3.60 to net the opening goal with 888Sport.

Statistics

  • Saudi Arabia haven’t won a World Cup match since June 1994. They won two games at this tournament including a 1-0 success against Belgium.
  • This will be the first-ever meeting between these sides in a competitive fixture.
  • This will be Russia’s fourth World Cup. They have never got beyond the group stage since switching from the Soviet Union. Russia are 2.55 to finish top of Group A with Sports Interaction.
  • Saudi Arabia qualified for four consecutive World Cups between 1994 and 2006 but haven’t reached either of the last two.
  • Saudi Arabia failed to score a single goal during the 2002 World Cup but they must be better equipped this time around.

Line-Ups

Russia: Akinfeev, Kudryashov, Granat, Naustadtler, Zhirkov, Samedov, Erokhin, Dzagoev, Golovin, Smolov, Miranchuk

Saudi Arabia: Al Maiouf, Hawsawi, Al Harbi, Al Shahrani, Al Jassim, Al Shehri, Al Abid, Al Faraj, Otayf, Al Sahlawi.

*Lineups are based on each country’s last competitive match and are subject to change


About the Author

I have been working as a sports content writer for a number of years and specialise in football, tennis, darts and horse racing. I have written for a number of different betting sites, writing weekly match previews and picking out winning selections across a variety of events.



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