Be ready for the clash of world cup host Russia with Saudi Arabia in the opening match
Match: Russia vs Saudi Arabia
Venue: Luzhniki Stadium
Date: Thursday 14th June
Time: 4:00pm BST
The world cup will start with the host Russia trying to win their first fixture against the Middle East Giant Saudi Arabia on Thursday, June 14 at 4 pm BST.
It will also be the first match of Group A. This match is very important for Russia for two reasons, first one is that they are the hosts of the World Cup and if they lose the match the fans are going to be very disappointed and on the opposite if they win the match there will be nationwide hope for upcoming matches which brings us to the second point is that if they are able to win against Saudi Arabia then they will have positive attitudes going against Egypt.
Saudi Arabia is a tough team and they can be very challenging if you underestimate them. There is not much difference between these two teams in terms of FIFA ranking, both of the teams will give their all to win the first points and get ahead in the score table. As a captain Igor Akinfeev will be a key player in this match for Russia, he is a talented goalkeeper but sometimes in big matches, he tends to make mistakes.
The Opening match of the world cup is not everyone might have wanted, two of the lowest ranked team in FIFA rankings will kick-start the worlds biggest event.
Russia has slipped in international circuit recently have Saudi Arabia is not what it used to being.
as the ranking suggests both teams have lost last few matches they played, Russia has lost last seven of their intentional matches while Saudi Arabia lost all three of their international friendlies leading up to the tournament.
Saudi Arabia has not had a great time in the world cups whenever they have qualified for the world cups they have not win a single match in the world cup losing seven and drawing the other two.
The World Cup hosts have never been beaten in the opening match. If Russia does lose then not only will they set a tournament first, but qualification for the last 16 would appear unlikely.
Russia have brought 38-year-old Sergei Ignashevich out of international retirement because of a number of defensive injuries and he is expected to start.
Star man Aleksandr Kokorin misses this tournament with a knee injury so their most likely match-winner is striker Fedor Smolov.
Saudi Arabia coach Juan Antonio Pizzi faces a selection dilemma up front.
Mohammed Al-Sahlawi and Muhannad Assiri both rotated in the warm-up friendlies.
Players to Watch
Saudia Arabia – Osama Hawsawi: 34-year-old Leader at the back and he has played 135 matches for his country, his experience would be important.
Russia – Fedor Smolov: The 28 years old scored 52 goals in last three seasons and will be crucial for Russia’s goal scoring.
Potential Lineup Saudi Arabia: Al-Muaiouf, Al-Burayk, Al-Boleahi, Hawsawi, Al-Harbi, Al-Faraj, Ali-Khaibari, Kanno, Al-Jassim, Al-Shehri, Al-Sahlawi
Potential Lineup Russia: Akinfeev; Granat, Ignashevich, Kurdryashov; Fernandes, Golovin, Erkohin, Dzagoev, Zhirkov; Miranchuk, Smolov
Head To Head
The opening match of the World Cup will be just the second meeting between these two sides and the first since a six-goal friendly thriller in October 1993.
On that occasion, Saudi Arabia gave a taste of what was to come at the World Cup the following year by coming from behind to run out 4-2 winners in Al Khobar.
Russia vs Saudi Arabia Match Prediction
Russia may not be the best team in the Europe but neither are Saudi Arabia a great team so home advantage and home fans behind the Russian team should see through this match 2-0
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