Russia vs Saudi Arabia Preview

Russia vs Saudi Arabia

Competition – FIFA World Cup

Stadium – Luzhniki Stadium

Date: 14th June 2018

Kick-off time – 16:00 GMT

After four years, we finally get to witness the World Cup yet again as Russia opens the much anticipated 2018 FIFA World Cup against Saudi Arabia.

In all sincerity, these are not the most exciting teams to open a competition with, but this looks likely to be a close affair.

The Russians are the worst FIFA ranked team at this competition at 70th, and they face a team that is just three positions higher than them in that ranking table.

Russia’s preparation for this competition leaves much to be desired. They have not won any of their last seven games, losing four and picking up draws in three – you would have to go back to October to see when they last won a game.

Also, South Korea are the only team in this competition that has been beaten by the Russians since November 2015.

Saudi Arabia are a little better than their host ahead of this game not just in FIFA rankings. They lost 2-1 to holders Germany in their last warm up game which was an improvement on their 3-0 loss to Peru in the previous game. They also limited Italy to a 2-1 win prior to those matches.

One big advantage for the Saudis is that ten of their 23 man team play for the same team – Al-Hilal.

These players have been team mates for a long time and that offers them some cohesion when they play as a national team.

Russia won the last meeting between these teams 4-2 in 1993.

Possible starting lineups:

Russian 

Akinfeev
Ignashevic
Kutepov
Granat
Zhirkov
Golovin
Zobnin
Samedov
Dzagoev
Miranchuk
Smolov

Saudi Arabia 

Al-Mayouf
Al-Harbi
Osama Hawsawi
Omar Hawsawi
Al-Shahrani
Al-Jassim
Otayf
Al-Dawsari
Al-Shehri
Al-Muwallad
Al-Sahlawi

Results of each team’s last 5 matches across all leagues and competitions

Russia

LAST FIVE GAMES DATE COMPETITION
D Russia 1-1 Turkey 5 Jun, 2018 International Friendly
L Austria 1-0 Russia 30 May, 2018 International Friendly
L Russia 1-3 France 27 Mar, 2018 International Friendly
L Russia 0-3 Brazil 23 Mar, 2018 International Friendly
D Russia 3-3 Spain 14 Nov, 2017 International Friendly

Saudi Arabia

LAST FIVE GAMES DATE COMPETITION
L Saudi Arabia 0-3 Peru 3 Jun, 2018 International Friendly
L Italy 2-1 Saudi Arabia 28 May, 2018 International Friendly
W Saudi Arabia 2-0 Greece 15 May, 2018 International Friendly
W Saudi Arabia 2-0 Algeria 9 May, 2018 International Friendly
L Belgium 4-0 Saudi Arabia 27 Mar, 2018 International Friendly

H2H

No previous meetings between these two sides.

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