No spam ever. Unsubscribe in one click. By submitting your email address, you indicate your consent to receiving email marketing messages from us.

Russia vs Saudi Arabia Preview - World Cup 2018

Jon Wilde 9 Feb 2018
Artem Dzyuba (top) in action for Russia against Sweden (credit: Getty Images)

Match No 1 of the 64 that comprise the 2018 World Cup is Russia vs Saudi Arabia as the host nation begin their Group A campaign straight after the opening ceremony on Thursday June 14.


These countries have been pooled with Uruguay and Egypt, who will also strive to be among the two qualifiers from this group that go forward to the round-of-16.

Russia vs Saudi Arabia kick-off time and venue


  • Thursday June 14, 16:00 BST
  • Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow

Russia vs Saudi Arabia head-to-head stats


  • October 6 1993, friendly match, Riyadh
  • Saudi Arabia 4-2 Russia

Russia had already secured their place at the 1994 World Cup before this friendly and they would subsequently be joined by Saudi Arabia, whose final phase of the Asian qualification process took place later the same month.

Aleksandr Mostovoi scored both of Russia’s goals but they were not enough as Khaled Messed bagged a double for Saudi Arabia, while Hamza Idriss Falatah and Fahad Al Mehallel also found the net in the last 25 minutes.

Russia vs Saudi Arabia match predictions


Although Russia will be red-hot favourites to start with a win, there will be huge pressure on their team and they have not been a significant force on the international stage since they finished third at the 2008 European Championship.

When the draw was made, the hosts’ coach Stanislav Cherchesov acknowledged his team face progressively harder tests as the group evolves, with Egypt followed by Uruguay, and therefore it will be important for them to make a winning start.

Cherchesov said after the draw in December:
“I won’t lie, I have never seen Saudi Arabia play before. I just know that Juan Antonio Pizzi took charge of the team recently. In a couple of weeks I will probably know some more details.”

Russia vs Saudi Arabia predicted line-ups

Mohammad Al-Sahlawi of Saudi Arabia celebrates after scoring a goal (Getty Images)
Russia will be hoping midfielder Alan Dzagoev can steer clear of the injuries that have plagued his career and start to fulfil the major potential he showed at the outset of Euro 2012.

Midfield is a key area for the hosts with Aleksandr Golovin a huge young talent, while up front much will be expected of Aleksandr Kokorin and Fyodor Smolov. Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev is expected to be the captain.

For Saudi Arabia, striker Mohammad Al-Sahlawi has a fantastic goalscoring record of almost one in every international match and he will carry his country’s dreams on his shoulders along with the likes of Mohammad Al-Shalhoub, Nasser Al-Shamrani and Taisir Al-Jassim..

Russia vs Saudi Arabia odds


4/11 Russia (Unibet)
  4/1 Draw (SportingBet)
11/1 Saudi Arabia (BetStars)

Those who think Russia are potentially being over-rated because of their status as World Cup hosts have a chance to snap up some big value if they think Saudi Arabia can cause an upset and get a positive result.

To cover the options of a Saudi Arabia win and also the draw, you can get 12/5 in the Double Chance market with BetVictor although it is worth bearing in mind that no host nation has ever lost its opening match of a World Cup.


Upcoming Events

Share this with your friends

To:
From:
Your comments:

Russia vs Saudi Arabia Preview - World Cup 2018

Match No 1 of the 64 that comprise the 2018 World Cup is Russia vs Saudi Arabia as the host nation begin their Group A campaign straight after the opening ceremony on Thursday June 14.

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages