World Cup 2018 is set to start on June 14 with home team, Russia facing up Saudi Arabia in the opening fixture and both teams are gunning for maximum points, especially the host as they want to entertain their crowd.
Playing in front of their strong home support, Stanislav Cherchesov’s team certainly looking for that first win, which can help their chance in advancing into the knock out stage much bigger.
The Sbornaya’s preparation ahead of that opening fixture hasn’t been that convincing as they haven’t won their last seven non-competitive fixtures, triggering some criticism from public back home.
However, Cherchesov has been preparing his team well and focus enough to play their first World Cup game and they seemingly look very confident in grabbing maximum points for that tie against Saudi.
Meanwhile, the Asian representative also eager to show that they are not just a weakling in the tournament and upsetting Russia would be a precious outcome for The Green Falcons.
Head coach, Juan Antonio Pizzi, must have an extra concern though seeing how his teams have lost all of their last three friendly games before the opening fixture on Thursday.
Interestingly, it’s been a while seen both teams actually tasted victories in World Cup finals as Russia’s last was back on 2002, while Saudi even way back in 1994.
Those condition will give an extra motivation for both nations to push for nothing else but three points that should give plenty of excitement for football fans all over the globe.
Russia: Igor Akinfeev (gk); Mario Fernandes, Fedor Kudryashov, Sergey Ignashevich, Yuri Zhirkov(def); Roman Zobnin, Daler Kuzyaev, Alan Dzagoev, Aleksandr Samedov, Aleksandr Golovin(mid); Fedor Smolov (att)
Saudi Arabia: Abdullah Al-Mayouf (gk); Usamah Husawi, Omar Hosawi, Yasser Al-Shahrani, Mohammed Al-Barik(def); Abdullah Otif, Salman Al-Faraj, Yahya Al-Shihri, Taisir Al-Jassim, Salem Al Dosari(mid); Fahad Al-Mola(att)