This will be another opportunity for a team to win against a host country in an opening match of the world cup first time ever in history.
- Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia has never reached the knockout stage of the World Cup in three attempts (1994, 2002, 2014). They have finished third in their group in each of those three tournaments.
- If he plays, Sergei Ignashevich will become the oldest player to represent Russia at a World Cup (38 years, 335 days), surpassing Lev Yashin’s record of 36 years and 279 days.
- This is Saudi Arabia’s fifth World Cup, but it’s their first since 2006. They have finished bottom of their group in their last three appearances.
- The Saudis have lost eight of their nine World Cup matches against European nations, with their solitary victory coming courtesy of Saeed Al-Owairan’s brilliant solo goal against Belgium in 1994.
- Mohammed Al-Sahlawi scored 16 goals in qualifying – the joint-most of any player, although eight of those came in two games against Timor-Leste.