Opening Match Of FIFA World Cup 2018: Russia V. Saudi Arabia

Sports by Published on Updated on 24 Oct, 2021

The wait is finally over for all the football fans as today 14th June 2018 marks the start of the FIFA World Cup 2018 hosted by Russia. It is the 22nd FIFA World Cup and the tournament will kick off with the host, Russia facing Saudi Arabia. So, let’s get some insight in today’s match along with the possible line up, game result prediction and the players to watch out.

Russia V. Saudi Arabia Who Will Win?

The game starts at 4 pm UK time at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and before the game, there will be half an hour long opening ceremony including around 500 local performers, dancers, and trampolinists. The ceremony will be headlined by Robbie Williams.

As per the football pundits and many betting sites, the odd of Saudi Arabia winning is 1:6. The home team, Russia is ranked lowest based on their performance in the friendly matches and Saudi Arabia is second last in the table. Russia does have an advantage playing in their home ground with all the fans cheering for them. Well, Saudi Arabia can’t be underestimated as the game of football can be very unpredictable.

Here is the possible line for today’s match:


Saudi Arabia

 Igor Akinfeev(GK and captain)

 Abdullah Al-Mayouf(GK)

Mario Fernandes

 Salem Al Dosari

Fedor Kudryashov

Osama Hawasawi(c)

Sergey Ignashevich

Yasser Al-Shahrani

Yuri Zhirkov

Abdullah Otif

Roman Zobnin

Usamah Husawi

Daler Kuzyaev

Mohammed Al-Barik

Alan Dzagoev

Salman Al-Faraj

Fedor Smolov

Yahya Al-Shihri

Aleksandr Samedov

Taisir Al-Jassim

Aleksandr Golovin

Fahad Al-Muwallad

You can catch the live action on ITV website and BBC 5.

Players to watch out in today’s match:

The player to watch in the Saudi squad is the 35-year-old defender Osama Hawasawi who has 135 caps playing for the national team. Other players to watch are Mohammed Al-Sahlawi and Fahad Al Muwlallad. Captian Hawasawi during a press conference has said that his squad is looking to qualify for later rounds. He also added,

“We are happy to be a part of the opening of the most important event in the world. In friendly matches, we have shown a high level, with the match against Germany (a 2-1 defeat last Friday) evidence to that, and the Saudi team is a strong competitor in Asia."

The most probable star for Russia will surely be the striker Fedor Smolov who has scored 52 goals in the last three seasons for Krasnodar, Russia’s top division club. Also, Aleksandr Golovin will play a key role for the Russian side.