FIFA World Cup 2018 – Russia vs Saudi Arabia Preview, Predictions and Betting Tips
FIFA World Cup 2018: Russia vs Saudi Arabia
World Cup Group A
Date: Thursday 14th, 2018. Time: 16:00 (BST) Venue:Luzhniki Stadium
Coverage: ITV 4pm
The whole world will be watching on Thursday 14th. It may not be the most exciting match-up, but who would miss the start of the World Cup? This should go in the favour of the hosts but it may not be as easy as some might think. Russia will be looking to avoid joining South Africa as a host team to not get through the qualifiers.
The two teams are ranked 63 and 65 in the FIFA World rankings and I expect a tight affair in this one. Russia will be desperate to break their bad run of form at major tournaments with only one win since Euro 2012. In fact, since the break up of the Soviet Union, they have not progressed from the World Cup group stage.
I see value in under 2.5 goals with Bethard at 23/20. Both teams will feel the pressure of the opening game, also neither will want to lose this first game. For this, I can see a tight game with very few goals. Russia has only scored one goal in their previous two home games. Plus, Saudi Arabia has failed to score in two of their last four away matches.
That being said, Russia still looks favourite to win this game and I expect it to happen. Just more or a narrow win, 1-0 or 2-0. You can get Russia to win to nil at 10/11 with BoyleSports.
Players to look out for
Russia – Fyodor Smolov is the Russian captain, and at 28 years old has started to hit great form with his domestic team Krasnodar. He will certainly be the danger man going forward with 15 goals in his last 22 matches. Fulham and Wolves are said to be interested in the striker too. As an anytime goalscorer he is 8/11 with Betbright.
Saudi Arabia – Mohammed Al-Sahlawi is the star striker of Al-Nassr with 102 goals in his 174 appearances for the club. He has scored 14 goals in the qualification process and is more than capable of scoring more. As an anytime goalscorer he is 17/4 with Unibet.