Match: Russia vs Saudi Arabia
Competition: FIFA World Cup 2018 – Group A
Time / Date: 18:00h / 14th June 2018
Venue: Luzhniki Arena
Certainly this is not the most attractive match for this World Cup opener, the Russian hosts who are in the lowest position in the FIFA World Rankings (70th) of this championship will welcome the team of Saudi Arabia, which is in the second lowest position (67th) and 3 places ahead of Sbornaya.
Russia vs Saudi Arabia Match Preview
The Russian hosts did not go through the best way in their preparation for this first game at the World Cup, in the last 7 games, Sbornaya are without a victory by losing four and having recorded three draws in this period.
In this time, Stanislav Cherchesov’s squad have lost from opponents like Argentina, France and Brazil, and in their last match was 10 days ago were they recorded 1: 1 with the team of Turkey.
Asian guests come in this match after a narrow loss from Germany with 2: 1, their third in a row. As a visitors, their form is terrible with winning only one match in the last 11 encounter and that was against weak Kuwait side, the remaining 10 are 2 draws and 8 losses.
Apart from the fact that in the FIFA World Rankings the guests are at a higher position, they have another advantage and that is that 10 of their 23 players are playing in the same team and this summer as I expect to give more harmony in the big games like this.
Russia vs Saudi Arabia Head to Head (H2H)
The only match between these two nations was in 1993 in a friendly match that ended 4: 3 for Saudi Arabia.
Russia vs Saudi Arabia Team News
I expect Stanislav Chercheсov to shame his lineup by relying on the reputation of his players, and very few have shown their full potential so far.
Igor Akinfeev , Ignashevich , Smolnikov , Vasin , Samedov , Dzagoev , Golovin , Yerokhin , Zhirkov , Smolov , Dzyuba.
Pizzi did not have much time to experiment with his line-up as guests have made some changes in the last 10 months, I expect from him to take on the experienced players in the team.
Al Maiouf , Al-Breik , Hawsawi , Hawsawi , Al-Harbi , Otayf , Al-Shehri , Al-Jassim , Al-Faraj, Al-Dawsari , Al-Sahlawi.
Russia vs Saudi Arabia Stats and Streaks
- Russia hasn’t won a game in 2018
- Sbornaya won once against teams that reach this World Cup
- Over 0.5 Goals at Half Time have seen in any of last nine games for Saudi Arabia
- Last 10 games for the visitors have been scored more than 1.5 Goals
- Russia have conceded a goal in any of last 9 games
- After the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia have qualified for the WC finals on three occasions but never got out of their group.
- This will be the Saudis fifth finals and apart from 1994, when they made the last 16, they have also failed to get past the group stage.
Russia vs Saudi Arabia Betting Tips and Predictions
From both teams have seen a lot of holes lately, with that I mean defence and attack. As I expect from the managers to search the victory in this match by considering what form they meet each other.
And although Bookmakers give Sbornaya as favourite here, I do not expect an easy victory for them, and this gives us an edge by proposing to use an Asian Handicap Market for this game.