World Cup 2018 Betting Tips – An Early Look at Russia vs Saudi Arabia

Russia Luzhniki Stadium

June 14 is just a matter of weeks away now and the opened between Russia and Saudi Arabia could get it going with a real bang.

The Luzhniki Stadium will be full to capacity of Russians cheering on their side as they look to get their campaign off with a win. Stanislav Cherchesov’s men are among the Group A favourites, but there are just a few places within the FIFA World Rankings between themselves and their first opponents.

It’s perhaps the start Russia would have wanted, ahead of playing Mo Salah’s Egypt and Uruguay in the final game of the group, and it really will be a must win.

It’ll get the tournament off to a good start for the Russians, but it really won’t be as straightforward as it’s expected.

The Saudi team are huge outsiders but they have some goalscorers and some talented players. So it won’t be easy…

Russia v Saudi Arabia Odds

The Russians are currently a huge 2/7 favourite to kick off their World Cup campaign with a win and they will be desperately hoping nothing goes wrong.

Saudi Arabia haven’t won a World Cup match since 1994 and have only scored five times in their following 10 games in the competition.

They have beaten Russia before though, in the sides’ only ever meeting. They ran away 4-2 winners back in 1993. If that happens this time round, we expect chaos to ensue.

That’s an incredible 125/1 to happen, and we honestly couldn’t see it. A Saudi win on the other hand is at 10/1 and stranger things have happened, particularly when you put down opening day nerves.

Politics have to come into play here though and you get the impression the Russian players will be terrified of embarrassing president Vladimir Putin on a global scale. That’s a lot of pressure, so take it as you will.

We’d expect them to win for this reason, although a wobble wouldn’t surprise us and a 2-1 win at 9/1 looks good value.

A BTTS bet would be a good value bet with Russia to win at 3/1, while you can back a BTTS draw at 13/2 if you think the hosts could struggle. We expect them to top the Group A table by the end of the opening day though, and put themselves in a good position to qualify.

The Key Players

Take a look at the teams and you’ll feel a little more comfortable in a Russia win. Very few Saudi players represent a team outside of their country, with the few that do at the lower ends of the Spanish football pyramid.

CSKA Moscow, Zenit St Petersburg, Fenerbahce and Club Brugge will all be represented in the Russian squad.

Striker Artem Dzyuba will be a key man for the Russians and has a good record with one every other game for his nation. We’ll be backing him to make his mark early in Group A.

Equally they’ve a large amount of experience at the back which will hold them in good stead.

Interestingly the Saudi Arabia side do have a man with a fantastic record in front of goal. 31-year-old Mohammad Al-Sahlawi has 28 goals in 35 games for his country and 100 in 175 for club side Al-Nassr. The World Cup is a completely different level however.

A Dzyuba goal and comfortable Russia victory is our backing with this one in a game that won’t be a thriller of an opener but will likely get our World Cup acca’s off to a good start.

Where To Bet On Russia v Saudi Arabia

All major online bookmakers will already have Russia v Saudi Arabia odds, and as the tournament gets ever closer there will be plenty of World Cup free bets to enjoy on it.

The opener is always a great game to bet on and the likes of William Hill, Ladbrokes and SkyBet will have plenty of World Cup bonuses to enjoy.

Take a look at our free bets below and find the best offers for you to enjoy Group A betting and the opening fixture between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Russia vs Saudi Arabia Free Bets

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