Russia v Saudi Arabia Betting Preview & Predictions – World Cup 2018

14th June 2018 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup 2018 Betting Predictions
Russia v Saudi Arabia - World Cup 2018

Russia vs Saudi Arabia World Cup 2018 Preview 14th June – 4.00 p.m
(Endergebnis 5:0 – Torschützen: Gazinsky 12´, Cheryshev 43´, 90´+, Dzyuba 71´, Golovin 90´+)

This game is just going to be made all the more interesting because it increasingly looks like host nation Russia are going to be under pressure on home soil in what is the tournament curtain-raiser. The Russians have not won a single game in 2018 and will be feeling the pressure of expectancy on Thursday. Can they settle nerves or will minnows Saudi Arabia be able to turn up and produce what would be a stunning shock?

Russia vs Saudi Arabia Odds*

Russia 2/5
Draw 16/5
Saudi Arabia 17/2
* (Betting Odds taken from June 10th, 2018 at 8:55 p.m.)

Russia vs Saudi Arabia Preview

This is the 2018 World Cup which kicks off the month-long action. Russia could well be under some pressure in this fixture despite being odds-on favourites to collect maximum points in this Group A dual. The host nation are not carrying any form with them into their home tournament having failed to win any of their last seven fixtures (D3 L4) and given the pressure of expectancy of hosting, this could be a tricky fixture for them against Saudi Arabia. Russia’s last victory was against South Korea last October and 12 months ago they hosted the Confederations Cup and the only victory they got there in the round robin stage was against New Zealand. That was incidentally the game in which they got their last clean sheet as well. Russia have conceded at least one goal in each of their last games which is going to be of concern for them.

Russia expectancy low for home tournament

There doesn’t appear to be a lot of expectancy about Russia’s chances on home soil the 2018 World Cup and is not as if they have great track record anyway in getting out of the group stage. Following this fixture with Saudi Arabia, Russia will also meet Egypt and group favourites Uruguay. It can be hard on nations hosting major tournaments because it means that Russia have not had any competitive action for the last couple of years. But they have pitted themselves against some of the world’s best in recent international friendlies having faced this Brazil, France, Spain and Argentina losing three of those but holding out in a thrilling 3-3 draw against the Spaniards.

In their final preparation matches ahead of Thursday’s opener there was a bit of a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Austria and then they could only play out a 1-1 draw against Turkey neither of which are going to the World Cup. Given the lack of form by Russia under 2.5 goals is 4/6 odds option at bet365* (Betting Odds taken from June 10th, 2018 at 8:55 p.m.). Russia scored in only half of the last six games but shortest priced option in the bet365 correct score market is a Russia 1-0 for 15/4 odds* (Betting Odds taken from June 10th, 2018 at 8:55 p.m.). Can they avoid and calm some nerves in a game which they are expected to win?

Saudi Araba to test the hosts

Saudi Arabia may make a game of it by at least frustrating Russia as opposed to taking the game to them. Saudi Arabia qualified for the 2018 World Cup in second place behind Japan in their group and got automatic qualification. During their successful campaign, they had Mohammed Al-Sahlawi as the joint top scorer in the entire World Cup qualification process scoring 16 goals in total, so if Saudi Arabia are likely to get anything on the board in this game it makes the most sense to look for it to be Al-Sahlawi in the anytime goalscorer market.

Saudi Arabia have actually achieved something Russia have not in World Cup history and that is getting past the group stage. As Russia, they have been eliminated in each of their three previous World Cup appearances while this is Saudi Arabia’s fifth appearance in the finals and back in the 1984 edition they qualified through to the round of 16. This is Saudi Arabia’s first appearance though since 2006 and they have failed to win a single game in any of their last three appearances at the tournament.

The match outright draw or Saudi Arabia double chance may appeal with the latter being a 2/1 odds option with bet365* (Betting Odds taken from June 10th, 2018 at 8:55 p.m.). That will be largely based on Russia’s lack of form as opposed to Saudi Arabia being in terrific form of stop Saudi Arabia on a three-match losing streak the two of those were 2-1 losses against stronger European opposition in Italy and Germany. Just back in May they earned back-to-back clean sheet victories over Algeria and Greece. So with them now being ranked higher by FIFA than Russia, they will be an interesting proposition for punters to consider to at least avoid defeat on Thursday.

Russia v Saudi Arabia Predictions

The lack of Russia’s form could make this opening fixture of the 2018 World Cup pretty interesting. There certainly doesn’t appear to be any guarantees that the host nation will get through this comfortably. Saudi Arabia has shown up well in a couple of friendlies against Italy and Germany recently may well be able to stick in there for a draw.

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* All mentioned odds were valid at the time of writing. Betting odds are subject to fluctuations. Please check the current odds with the respective bookmaker!

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