○ Date: 14/06/2018
○ Venue: Luzhniki Stadium,Moscow
○ Live Telecast: You can catch all the action live at Sony Ten and Sony Ten HD, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Ten 3 HD, Sony ESPN from 8:30pm, IST.
Live streaming will be available on Sony Liv app and sonylive.com website
Finally the day have arrived. The greatest footballing event on the planet has finally returned after a gap of four years. The FIFA 2018 World Cup will kick off with the host nation Russia squaring off against Saudi Arabia. If FIFA Rankings are to be believed it will be an even contest between the two countries. Russia ranked 70 is the lowest rank team in the world cup with Saudi Arabia just three places better off at 67.
● Recent Form:
○ Russia Form last 5 matches:
D L L L D
○ Saudi Arabia Form last 5 matches:
W W L L L
None of the teams have been playing scintillating football. Russia have not managed to win since October 2017. While Saudi Arabia have lost their last three matches. These two are the lowest rank teams in the world cup by some distance. It will mostly be a tactical affair with flashes of brilliance. Both teams do not have the potential to light up the stage with their football. But, it is world cup and surprises will be there a plenty.
● Head to Head :
Russia have squared off against Saudi Arabia only once in a friendly in 1993 where Saudi Arabia emerged victorious with a comfortable 4-2 win over Russia.
● Probable Line Ups :
○ Russia :
Akinfeev(GK), Smolnikov, Kutepov, Ignashevich; Samedov, Zobrin, Gazinskiy, Zhirkov; Dzagoev, Smolov, Golovin
• Injuries: None
• Key Players: Alan Dzagoev, Feydor Smolov
○ Saudi Arabia :
Al Maiouf(GK); Al Shahrani, Os Hawsawi, Om Hawsawi, Al Hardi; Otayf; Al Shehri, Al Jassim, Al Faraj, Al Dawsari; Al Muwallad Al Harbi
• Injuries: None
• Key Players: Al-Abed, Al-Muwall and Al-Shehri
● Our Take On The Match :
The opening match will see two of the lowest rank teams squaring off against each other. Both, the teams are now known for their scintillating display of football nor they have brilliant young talents to light up the stage on fire. It will be a tough job for both the teams to qualify from their group stages. Russia with the home crowd behind their back might just be able to steal in a result from the Saudis.