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14 Jun 2018

FIFA World Cup 2018: Russia vs Saudi Arabia- Match Preview

Hosts Russia face Saudi in World Cup opener

The moment has finally arrived as the world's biggest sporting spectacle- FIFA World Cup 2018 is all set to start tonight.

Group A sees hosts Russia take on Saudi Arabia in Moscow.

Even though the match may not be a blockbuster one, but the buzz of the World Cup is already creating plenty of excitement all around the globe.

Here's the match preview.

In context

Hosts Russia face Saudi in World Cup opener
Lowest ranked teams to lock horns in the opener

No shine

Lowest ranked teams to lock horns in the opener

The opening game of the FIFA World Cup 2018 sees the tournament's lowest ranked teams Russia and Saudi Arabia battle it out.

Russia have slipped to 70th spot with Saudi Arabia staying at 67th.

Both teams have failed to muster wins in recent games.

This is Saudi Arabia's first World Cup appearance since 2006 and they will hope to stun the hosts.

Favourites

Russia will hope for a winning start

Russia will look to start well in front of the home crowd and will not take their opponents lightly.

Further, the Russians will be looking to dominate the possession with Saudi likely to sit deep.

The hosts need to identify the counter-attacks well.

Russia go in as favorites into the tie and could sneak past due to home advantage.

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Stat attack - Russia vs Saudi Arabia

Numbers game

Stat attack - Russia vs Saudi Arabia

Russia haven't registered a win in their last five World Cup games.

Russia's veteran defender Ignashevich could become the oldest player ever to feature in a WC game at 38 years, 335 days.

This is Saudi Arabia's 5th WC.

The middle-east nation have never won their opening game of the WC (D1, L3).

Saudi Arabia have kept 1 clean sheet in 13 WC games.

When and where to match the match?

The opening game is scheduled for a 8:30 PM IST start. The match will be telecast live on Sony Ten 2/HD (English commentary) and Sony Ten 3/HD (Hindi commentary). The game will take place at Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow.

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