Russia v Saudi Arabia Betting Preview

The 2018 World Cup makes a dubious start at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Thursday as Robbie Williams is performing at the opening ceremony before the two lowest ranked teams in the tournament, Russia and Saudi Arabia, go head-to-head. The hosts are overwhelming favourites to start with a win according to the Russia v Saudi Arabia Odds, but we're not so sure...

Thursday 14th June - 4.00pm OddsWon/LostBet
Russia v Saudi Arabia    
Tips Saudi Arabia to score    Best Bet @ 21 / 20  

Russia v Saudi Arabia Winner Odds

Russia, who are ranked 70th in the world by FIFA, qualified for this tournament as hosts and they haven't played a 'competitive' game of football since losing 3-0 to Wales at Euro 2016. In the meantime, they have won six, drawn six and lost nine internationals, and their preparation for this World Cup couldn't have gone worse as they haven't tasted victory since October 2017.

They head into this game on the back of a seven-match winless run and it is difficult to make any case for them being 1/3 favourites against Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis are ranked 67th in the world at this stage and they are looking to win a World Cup game for the first time since 1994 - they have appeared at three tournaments since, drawing two and losing seven of their games.

Saudi Arabia are 10/1 for a shock win after finishing second to Japan, and above Australia, in the AFC section of qualifying. They were good value for entertainment during qualifying though as their 10 matches involved 27 goals, with their five away games producing 17 goals.

The 21/20 for Saudi Arabia to score on Thursday is a solid bet with Bet Victor, while both teams to score is 8/5 to pay out in an opening match for the fifth time in the last six World Cup tournaments.

Russia v Saudi Arabia First Scorer Odds

There has been a significant amount of upheaval since Saudi Arabia qualified under Bert van Marwijk as he was replaced by Edgardo Bauza, who lasted just two months, before he was replaced by current boss Juan Antonio Pizzi, who has overseen some mixed results, including a run of three straight defeats in warm-up games against Italy, Peru and Germany respectively.

They have looked shaky defensively and Russia's Fyodor Smolov will hope to take advantage after notching seven goals in his last 14 international appearances. The Krasnodar forward is 3/1 favourite to score first with Betfred, although we are tipping the shambolic hosts to struggle unexpectedly in Moscow, where Saudi Arabia can make life very awkward.

Russia v Saudi Arabia Match Odds

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4/9 4/9 4/9 4/9 4/9 4/9 4/9 4/9
3 10/3 3 3 10/3 33/10 16/5 16/5
17/2 9 17/2 8 17/2 17/2 8 8

*Odds correct as of 14th Jun, 12:46. Odds are subject to change.


Posted: Tuesday, 12th June 2018
Author: Chris Knight

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