Thursday World Cup Preview and Odds – Russia vs. Saudi Arabia

June 14, 2018 16:00pm – Luzhniki Stadium

The world’s biggest football tournament kicks off on Thursday 14 June as host nation Russia take on Saudi Arabia in the first game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Russia will begin as favourites but both sides have been in poor form ahead of this clash. The host nation are winless in seven although they did face Argentina, Spain, Brazil and France in that spell. Last time out, they drew 1-1 at home to Turkey, Alexander Samedov bagging the goal.

The ultimate nightmare for Russia will be not progressing from their group in the home World Cup. Anything other than a win against Saudi Arabia would set nerves jangling with games against Uruguay and Egypt still to come. And Stanislav Cherchesov has not exactly filled fans with optimism since taking charge in 2016.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia arrive in Russia under the guidance of their third coach in 10 months following the appointment of former Chile boss Juan Antonio Pizzi back in November. He has led them to three wins, one draw and five defeats since taking over.

His late appointment has resulted in various line ups and starting formations as he has scrambled to find a formula suitable for the World Cup. Defensive issues are likely to be their downfall.

The last time these teams met, Saudi Arabia ran out 4-2 winners back in 1993.

Russia Predicted XI:

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

Saudi Arabia Predicted XI:

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


Both teams will view this game as their best chance of a win and we could see an even battle. However, home advantage should count something and Russia will be favourites as a result. However, their price looks short considering their recent form.

Saudi Arabia found the net against Italy and Germany in their recent friendlies and can be expected to breach the Russian defence. However, their own backline is their biggest weak point and they are likely to concede themselves.

Expect both teams to score with with a scoreline of 1-1 the most likely result.

You can back Both Teams to Score at 6/4 and a Correct Score of 1-1 at 8/1 with Betfair.

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