Russia vs Saudi Arabia – Predictions, Odds and Betting Tips
This match is over.
Final score: Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia
For the next match – Russia vs Egypt.
For the next match – Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia.
14th June 2018 – 16.00 GMT
Stadium: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Russia are the hosts of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and they get the tournament underway in Moscow when they face Saudi Arabia in their opening Group A match. The pair are also drawn alongside Uruguay and Egypt.
The match will give World Cup viewers the chance to see the credentials of Russia, who have reportedly improved under the management of Stanislav Cherchesov. He believes that Russia are on the right track despite a number of setbacks. The host nation will be hoping to avoid making an early exit from the tournament, whilst Saudi Arabia are considerable outsiders in Group A and are not expected to pick up many points during the competition.
These two sides haven’t met since 1993 when the pair played out an entertaining six-goal thriller during an International Friendly. Saudi Arabia were the winners on that occasion, but they aren’t expected to replicate those heroics here.
Russia have made significant alterations to their squad since exiting Euro 2016 at the group stage. They went into that tournament with one of the oldest squads and Cherchesov has been tasked with giving his side a youthful makeover. They still have a number of experienced heads including Alan Dzagoev and 34-year old Yuri Zhirkov. The boss has been dealt a number of blows during the build-up to the event with Alexander Kokorin one of three players who may miss the 2018 World Cup through injury.
Saudi Arabia haven’t featured in a World Cup since 2006, a tournament in which they picked up just a single point. They haven’t won a match at this event since June 1994, when they triumphed 1-0 over Belgium. They secured qualification for this year’s tournament ahead of Australia, who required a play-off match to book their place in Russia.
Russia vs Saudi Arabia Predictions
Russia will be desperate to make an impression in Moscow and with games against Egypt and Uruguay to come, this has to be considered their best chance to collect three points and instil some much-needed confidence in the squad. They are a short-price to get off to a winning start and are fancied to be the early pace-setters in Group A.
10Bet have them as 3/10 favourites for the game and they should also be backed at evens on the -1 handicap.
There have been very few memorable World Cup openers and this game is expected to go the same way. Saudi Arabia aren’t naturally a high-scoring side and it’s difficult to see them getting on the score-sheet.
Under 2.5 Goals is recommended at 13/19 and a 0-0 HT score-line is another realistic possibility at 13/10 with William Hill.
William Hill are also offering 11/10 on the highest scoring half to be the second and this is highly recommended.
Fyodor Smolov has four goals for his country and averages a goal every 126 minutes, he is one of their biggest threats and is priced at 13/5 with 888sport to score anytime during the 90 minutes.
They are also offering 11/10 on the highest scoring half to be the second and this is highly recommended.
- Saudi Arabia haven’t won a World Cup match since June 1994. They won two games at this tournament.
- These two sides have never met in a competitive encounter
- This will be Russia’s fourth World Cup in their current guise. They have never got beyond the group stage.
- Russia are 9/4 to make the quarter-finals.
- 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
Russia: Igor Akinfeev (captain), Mário Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Andrei Semyonov, Denis Cheryshev, Daler Kuzyayev, Yury Gazinsky, Alan Dzagoev, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Andrey Lunyov, Fyodor Kudryashov, Vladimir Granat, Aleksei Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Aleksandr Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Aleksandr Samedov, Vladimir Gabulov, Aleksandr Yerokhin, Artem Dzyuba, Igor Smolnikov,
Saudi Arabia: Abdullah Al-Mayouf, Mansoor Al-Harbi, Osama Hawsawi (captain), Ali Al-Bulaihi, Omar Hawsawi, Mohammed Al-Breik, Salman Al-Faraj, Yahya Al-Shehri, Hattan Bahebri, Mohammad Al-Sahlawi, Abdulmalek Al-Khaibri, Mohamed Kanno, Yasser Al-Shahrani, Abdullah Otayf, Abdullah Al-Khaibari, Housain Al-Mogahwi, Taisir Al-Jassim, Salem Al-Dawsari, Fahad Al-Muwallad, Muhannad Assiri, Yasser Al-Mosailem, Mohammed Al-Owais, Motaz Hawsawi.
*Lineups are based on each country’s last competitive match and are subject to change