Day One of the 2018 World Cup features the opening match of the tournament, with Russia heavy favourites to beat Saudi Arabia
Russia have been handed a wonderful opportunity to enjoy an opening win at the 2018 World Cup, with the hosts desperate to be part of proceedings for as long as possible.
Indeed, every tournament host bar South Africa have qualified for the latter stages of the competition, with Russia having a wonderful chance to get three points on the board and you’ll find them hovering around the 4/9 mark.
The host nation haven’t played a meaningful match since Euro 2016 unless you include last summer’s Confederations Cup which saw a series of limp performances from the hosts who went out in the group phase.
There is quality within the ranks, although much depends on the fitness of Alan Dzagoev and also Aleksei Miranchuk who has been a key member of Lokomotiv Moscow’s team in the past twelve months.
After the pomp of the opening ceremony, it might be that both sides endure a nervy opening, with Saudi Arabia arriving full of hope although they look short of the requisite quality in this World Cup.
The majority of players haven’t been exposed to top level competition, with manager Juan Antonio Pizzi hoping for his team to stay organised and frustrate the Russians as the match wears on.
It could be a match which is ultimately decided by a single goal and we’re happy to back Russia to win the game to nil and also by a 1-0 scoreline, with both teams looking to squeeze three points before harder clashes against Egypt and Uruguay.
All odds were correct at time of posting.