Read our prediction for Russia vs Saudi Arabia below. This preview was written by a sport journalist who is specialised in betting tips and predictions. Use our betting tips for the match between Russia vs Saudi Arabia and you can increase your winnings!
Russia vs Saudi Arabia Prediction & Betting tips
Upcoming Thursday evening it is finally time for organizer Russia to open the World Cup, with Saudi Arabia as its opponent. Russia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow can count on the support of tens of thousands of frenzied fans, while Saudi Arabia wants to show that it is more than simply tournament stuffing.
For Russia it is simply pure necessity to win the first group match immediately. In the event of a loss of point against Saudi Arabia, there is a threat of early elimination and the host country has to fill in the remaining group matches against the Uruguay of Luis Suarez and the Egypt of Mohamed Salah. The men of national coach Stanislav Cherchesov have been hopelessly out of shape with three defeats and a draw. Of course you have to be careful with drawing conclusions from friendly international matches, but the fact that Russia both during the 2016 European Championships and the Confederations Cup of 2017 already fell in the group stage, indicates that the country is seriously in trouble. In addition, Sbornaya with the seventieth place of all World Cup participants is the lowest qualified on the FIFA world rankings. Even the upcoming opponent Saudi Arabia is ranked higher with a 67th place. The Russian football fans would therefore be wise to slightly temper their expectations.
Yet Russia can not and must not hide itself in its own country. Certainly against Saudi Arabia, on paper the weakest country in group A, the Russians will undoubtedly take the initiative and look for the attack via playmaker Alan Dzagoev. The great danger is that Russia will take too much risk and lose sight of the defense. The Russian rear guard is the weakest line of the country. In the run-up to the World Championships, Cherchesov regularly experimented with a five-man rearguard, but in last week’s rehearsal against Turkey (1-1), he again opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation. The question is whether that is sensible, because the Russians did not keep their goal clean in their last ten matches. Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev sometimes wants to make a blunder and the 38-year old center defender Sergei Ignashevich lacks speed.
Saudi Arabia knew a good dress rehearsal despite a defeat. On a visit to reigning world champion Germany, the country narrowly lost 2-1. The team of national coach Juan Antonio Pizzi, although quickly faced a 2-0 deficit, but then managed to recover well. Saudi Arabia left Germany, and then became dangerous through the switchover. In the absolute final phase, The Green Falcons almost even came alongside, though they were just too slow to score the 2-2.
Saudi Arabia will undoubtedly drop back against Russia, and then try to hit the counter. Particularly because of the lack of speed in the Russian rearguard, such a tactic with fast attackers like Mohammed Al-Salahwi and Yahya Al-Shehri could be very successful. Al-Sahlawi crowned with no less than sixteen goals together with Robert Lewandowski the top scorer of the World Cup qualification. The number ten is undoubtedly the best striker of Saudi Arabia, but in recent friendly games against Moldavia, Ukraine, Belgium, Algeria, Greece, Peru and Germany, he was always deprived of a goal. “However, scoring is just like a bottle of ketchup,” Ruud van Nistelrooy said once. ‘Sometimes you do your best and nothing comes out, but at another moment it suddenly happens automatically.’ It is to be hoped for Saudi Arabia that the ketchup bottle of Al-Salahwi will return automatically.