RUSSIA v SAUDI ARABIA

Live on ITV. Thursday, June 14. Kick-off 4pm.

WORLD Cup 2018 is almost upon us and the excitement is at fever pitch but has there even been a less appetising opening match than this?

Let's be clear: Russia are absolutely honking and would be nowhere near this tournament if they weren't lucky enough to be hosting it. The only saving grace for them is Saudi Arabia aren't any better.

There is nothing to get excited about with this one so the obvious solution is to have a wee gamble on it to make it watchable.

FIFA world rankings are about as reliable as French air traffic controllers so the fact Russia are ranked 70th and Saudi Arabia slightly higher in 67th is interesting but it's not enough to convince me the 9-1 about the Saudis is generous.

I don't expect either of these teams to get out of a group that also contains Uruguay and Egypt although if Mo Salah isn't fit then the winner of this match would have an outside chance. The loser would be as well packing the bags and heading home.

The Russians haven't won any of their friendly warm-up matches with no win in 5 games.  The Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia had two wins in May against Greece and Algeria which is fairly impressive and narrow 2-1 defeats to Italy and Germany are also pretty respectable.

The Saudis sit quite deep and try to hit opponents on the break and I think they can probably frustrate the Russians. They will be under pressure in front of a partisan home crowd who will be well aware this is their best chance of a win in the competition. A loss will not go down well in Moscow.

Realistically I see this one being tight because the Russians lack the creative type of player to break down the Saudi defence. It will likely come down to an individual error from the dreaded World Cup nerves.

The Saudi captain is their centre-half Osama Hawsawi who is likely to be their rock at the back. If they can hold on and keep a clean sheet I can see him being a value bet for man of the match.

Recommended Bets

Super Single

Bonkers Bet

  • Man of the Match – Osama Hawsawi (20-1, bet365)

Be careful with your bets, his partner at the back is Omar Hawsawi!

First Scorer

Bet Builder

  • Double Chance – Draw or Saudi Arabia
  • Under 3 goals
  • Under 9 Russian corners
  • No red card in the match
  • (5-1, bet365)
9 Comments
  1. bluemooner1894 4 months ago

    Hi Mr F …
    Just looking at ur betbuilder, under 9 combined corners in there brings in at 11/1 ?
    Unless of course it’s under 9 Russian corners, which comes in at 5s.. ?

    • Mr Fixit 4 months ago

      It’s not my tip – it’s from Voice of Value so I’d need to ask him.
      All games will be previewed by one of our team – the likes of VoV, Greg, Scott and selectabet.
      I couldn’t do them all as I’ll be busy at the Record.
      My thoughts on the games and tips will be posted daily in the top tips piece.

    • Author
      voiceofvalue 4 months ago

      Apologies bluemooner it is indeed under 9 Russian corners.

      Cheers

  2. Johnb 4 months ago

    Russia, not as bad as their ranking suggests, you have to remember it’s friendlies they have been playing and they have been picking difficult friendlies, we previewed every team and every player at the World Cup and Russia were one of my teams to preview, some of the Russian players impressed me like Anton Miranchuk, Alexey Miranchuk, Alexandr Golovin, Denis Cheryshev, Igor Akinfeev, Fyodor Smolov,
    Russia’s results actually haven’t been that bad and they are on home soil which could help or hinder them, I think it will help them and I think they have enough talent to beat Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Russia do have some skilful players but their style doesnt show that, they are more of a hardworking playing as a team type of team and battle hard

    Nothing worth betting on in this game though

    • Mr Fixit 4 months ago

      Home advantage could get Russia through but looking at their form – and I know it’s friendlies – it really is poor.
      Their finals results recently are also pretty bad but as you say could get second especially if they win tomorrow.

  3. imitationleather 4 months ago

    Just had a look at the odds. Saudi Arabia are 10/1 to win tomorrow?! Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor. I’m not anticipating a Saudi win, but they’re not playing against Brazil here. Mad odds.

  4. greywolf 4 months ago

    Russia vs Saudi Arabia.
    Both teams to score . odds high

    £50 return £131 (bet365)

  5. crypto thief 4 months ago

    I’m on under 3 goals too. Opening games are normally a cagey affair and there’s no evidence to suggest that this one will be any different.

  6. Mr Fixit 4 months ago

    From Greg
    Afternoon gents

    Looking forward to this world cup – glad its finally here (plus I’m off all week next week )

    There is an unbelievable amount of markets for this world cup but try to go too daft. could have easily posted 12 or so ante post selections but better focusing on 3 or 4 main bets

    I’ve left it late for the opening match but have reached a decision on what i believe to be really good value

    Russia v Saudi Arabia KO 4pm

    By now we will have heard and read the views of many people regarding the opening game and I’m with the majority that Russia look extremely vulnerable at 4/9 and its a bit of a disservice to Saudi Arabia who are a decent side especially going forward.

    The Russians have dropped from the top 10 to 70 in the rankings and is easy to see why. They aren’t aided by the fact they haven’t played any competitive games in a long time and its even a struggle to be able to name any of their players . Defensively they look weak and although they have played quite a few decent sides recently , 10 games without a clean sheet is a worry.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Russia grind out a narrow win but I think there is real value on taking Saudi to score, especially given they managed to do just that against Germany and Italy dung their preparation for this

    Back Saudi Arabia to score 6/5 (William Hill) (NAP)

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