The time has come for the World Cup to finally begin. After four years of anticipation, the world’s biggest international competition is finally upon us. Hosts Russia will now try to live up to the expectations, when they will play host to Saudi Arabia on Thursday. Saudi Arabia are seemingly the weakest team in the group, at least on paper. However, the Russians will be under a lot of pressure here. World Cup Russia vs Saudi Arabia Spread and Prediction.
Date/Time: 6-14-2018, 11:00 EDT
Spread: Saudi Arabia +1.25
Total: 2.25 Goals
Russia will try to make a positive start in the competition when they will play host to the weakest team in the group. They were really favored by the schedule, as after that they play against Egypt. They expect to have grabbed at least four points before playing against the strongest team in the group, Uruguay. However, Russia don’t have a very strong team so far, with none of their players considered as a star. They haven’t done a good job in their friendlies either, and their coach is nothing special. Russia have also failed miserably in the 2016 EURO Cup and the 2017 Confederations Cup.
On the other hand we have Saudi Arabia, who finished 2nd in their qualifying group (6-1-3). They did need a win against group leaders Japan in the final match in order to do so. They also lack the big names in their roster, but they do have a great coach in Juan Antonio Pizzi. However, he is the third head-coach they hired over the past 10 months, and that spells trouble. He hasn’t had the time to get to know the squad properly, nor to find the suitable formation. Even so, they were quite competitive in their last friendly math against Germany. Despite the 1-2 loss, Saudi Arabia actually had a chance to pull even at the dying moments of the match.
This might not be the premiere we would expect, as both teams are of low quality. The bookmakers have Russia as the big favorites to win this match, but it might not be that easy. The pressure will be very high, but the referees almost always favor the host team.
In any case, I believe that Saudi Arabia are not that much worse than Russia. They can surely pose a threat here, especially if they play solid defense. The Russians will get more and more anxious as the match goes by, and if Saudi Arabia play their cards right, they can even hold out for a draw here. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw goals from both sides here, but I don’t think that Russia can easily cover the spread.
World Cup Russia vs Saudi Arabia Prediction: Saudi Arabia +1.25 (-122)
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World Cup Russia vs Saudi Arabia Spread and Prediction
Paulie covers the following leagues :
Major League Soccer (MLS)
English Premier League
Spanish La Liga
Italian Serie A
French Ligue 1
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