FIFA World Cup 2018 gets underway when hosts Russia take on Saudi Arabia in the opening match of FIFA World Cup 2018 on June 14, Thursday at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The match will kick-off just after 30 minutes of the opening ceremony of FIFA World Cup 2018.
This year’s World Cup finals will open with a Group A fixture between host nation Russia and Saudi Arabia on June 14 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, kicking off the beginning of the group stages.
Thursday’s match will be the only one held on that day to coincide with the opening ceremony, with three group stage fixtures taking place each day until June 28. Russia are first-time hosts of the tournament and qualified automatically, and will be making their fourth appearance at the finals. Saudi Arabia’s best result at a World Cup was finishing in the last 16 in 1994, and will be hoping for a better finish this tournament.
Since 2008, Russians have failed in advancing the group stage of any tournament. Even, they have bypassed the qualification process as a tournament host and is on the lowest rank of the 32 teams. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has ranked three places ahead of Russia.
In international friendlies, both the teams performed almost same by not winning a single match. Russia failed to secure win against Austria by 0-1 and Turkey by 1-1. Whereas, Saudia Arabia lost all the 3 friendlies against Italy by 1-2, Peru by 0-3 and Germany by 1-2.
Here’s all you need to know about the opening game of FIFA World Cup 2018:
When is the FIFA World Cup 2018 Match-1 between Russia and Saudi Arabia going to be played?
The FIFA World Cup 2018 Match-1 between Russia and Saudi Arabia is going to be played on 14th June 2018.
Where is the FIFA World Cup 2018 Match-1 between Russia and Saudi Arabia is going to be played?
The FIFA World Cup 2018 Match-1 between Russia and Saudi Arabia is going to be played at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
When does the FIFA World Cup 2018 Match-1 between Russia and Saudi Arabia start?
The FIFA World Cup 2018 Match-1 between Russia and Saudi Arabia starts at 08:30 PM IST (On Thursday).
Which channels will show the FIFA World Cup 2018 Match-1 between Russia and Saudi Arabia coverage?
The match will be aired on Sony Ten 2, but there is no official word on it.
Where can you watch live streaming of the FIFA World Cup 2018 Match-1 between Russia and Saudi Arabia?
The FIFA World Cup 2018 Match-1 between Russia and Saudi Arabia can be live streamed on SonyLiv.com. New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser also.
Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Vladimir Gabulov, Andrei Lunyov, Mario Fernandes, Vladimir Granat, Sergei Ignashevich, Fyodor Kudryashov, Ilya Kutepov, Andrei Semyonov, Igor Smolnikov, Denis Cheryshev, Alan Dzagoev, Yuri Gazinsky, Alexander Golovin, Daler Kuzyaev, Anton Miranchuk, Alexander Samedov, Alexander Yerokhin, Yuri Zhirkov, Roman Zobnin Artyom Dzyuba, Alexei Miranchuk, Fyodor Smolov
Mohammed Al Owais , Yasser Al Mosailem, Abdullah Al Mayouf, Mansoor Al Harbi, Yasser Al Shahrani, Mohammed Al Breik, Motaz Hawsawi, Osama Hawsawi, Omar Hawsawi, Ali Al Bulaihi, Abdullah Al Khaibari, Abdulmalek Al Khaibri, Abdullah Otayf, Taiseer Al Jassim, Houssain Al Mogahwi, Salman Al Faraj, Mohamed Kanno, Hattan Bahebri, Salem Al Dawsari, Yahya Al Shehri, Fahad Al Muwallad, Mohammad Al Sahlawi, Muhannad Assiri.
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|FOX||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on ITV or streamed live online using the ITV Player.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Akinfeev, Gabulov, Lunev|
|Defenders||Granat, Kudryashov, Kutepov, Semenov, Smolnikov, Fernandes, Ignashevich|
|Midfielders||Gazinskiy, Dzagoev, Golovin, Erokhin, Zhirkov, Kuzyaev, Zobnin, Samedov, Miranchuk, Cheryshev|
|Forwards||Dzyuba, Miranchuk, Smolov|
Russia don’t boast a roster of standout players, so will be having to rely on the emerging talents of Dzagoev – who is always a key figure for his country during international tournaments. Aleksandr Kokorin misses out on the tournament due to an injury, and it is a blow for Russia as he would have been the first-choice striker.
Ex-Chelsea full-back Zhirkov is nearing the end of his international career, and playing the finals in his home country would be the perfect send-off.
Potential Russia XI: Akinfeev; Granat, Ignashevich, Kurdryashov; Fernandes, Golovin, Erkohin, Dzagoev, Zhirkov; Miranchuk, Smolov
|Position||Saudi Arabia players|
|Goalkeepers||Al Owais, Al Mosailem, Al Mayouf|
|Defenders||Al Harbi, Al Shahrani, Al Breik, Hawsawi, Hawsawi, Hawsawi, Al Bulaihi, Al-Burayk|
|Midfielders||Al Khaibari, Al Khaibri, Otayf, Al Jassim, Al Mogahwi, Al Faraj, Kanno, Bahebri, Al Dawsari, Al Shehri, Al Muwallad|
|Forwards||Al Sahlawi, Assiri|
Saudi Arabia’s three key men lie in Al-Abed, Al-Muwall and Al-Shehri. Al-Abed netted five times in the qualification stages and remains to be Saudi Arabia’s top-scorer en route to the finals, while Al-Mulwall netted the goal that secured his nation’s participation in Russia.
Al-Shehri provides the most experience for his team, having been in the side since 2009 and is only 27 years of age.
Potential Saudi Arabia XI: Al-Muaiouf, Al-Burayk, Al-Boleahi, Hawsawi, Al-Harbi, Al-Faraj, Ali-Khaibari, Kanno, Al-Jassim, Al-Shehri, Al-Sahlawi
Betting & Match Odds
Russia are 4/9 favourites to win the match according to dabblebet, with Saudi Arabia commanding odds of 8/1. A draw between the teams is a 10/3 bet.