Russia v Saudi Arabia Betting Offers and Tips – World Cup Finally Arrives

The World Cup opener is always a big occasion, regardless of who is involved. Many won’t be overjoyed at the thought of Saudi Arabia meeting Russia, but expect a big following for this game, which marks the start of the biggest tournament on earth. The hosts have been made heavy favourites for their opening clash, but have the bookies got that wrong? We are looking at all angles ahead of Thursday’s big game.

Russia v Saudi Arabia Betting Offers

Ladbrokes 25/1 Yellow Card World Cup 2018 Offer

Check out our main World Cup Betting Offers and Free Bets page for the latest offers – note that these tournament offers expire when this match kicks off:

  • LADBROKES – 25/1 on a yellow card to be shown in the Russia v Saudi Arabia match – Offer will be available starting 09:00 Thursday 14th June until Thursday 14th June @ 16:00. 18+. New UK+IRE players only. Time limited. Use “YELLOW”. Certain deposit types and cash out excluded. First bet £1. Winning bets paid in cash at normal price. Enhanced odds paid in £5 free bets credited within 24 hours, valid for 4 days, stake not returned. T&Cs Apply. 
  • Paddy Power – Back Russia to beat Saudi Arabia at Enhanced Odds of 100/1New Customers can get Russia at an enhanced 100/1 to beat Saudi Arabia. Max Stake £1. Winnings paid in free bets, valid for 7 days, only deposits with cards/Paypal count. Exchange and multiple bets excluded. T&C’s Apply. 18+|Gamble Aware.
  • CORAL – 28/1 on a goal to be scored in Russia v Saudi Arabia – Offer will be available starting 09:00 Thursday 14th June until Thursday 14th June @ 16:00. UK+IRE New Customers Only. Winning bets paid in cash based on the normal price on the Coral website. Enhanced odds paid in free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days. Losing £5 free bet excludes Coral Connect.
  • Coral – back Brazil at Enhanced Odds of 60/1 to win World Cup – UK+IRE New Customers Only. Certain payment methods and cashout excluded. Winning bets paid in cash based on the normal price. Enhanced odds paid in £5 free bets, valid for 4 days, stake not returned. Losing £5 free bet excludes Connect customers.
  • England 200/1 to win the World Cup – New Customers can get England to win the World Cup at an enhanced 200/1. Max Stake £1. Winnings paid in free bets, valid for 7 days, only deposits with cards/Paypal count. Exchange and multiple bets excluded. T&C’s Apply. 18+|Gamble Aware.
  • William Hill World Cup Winner Offer – Back a team to win the World Cup (£10+) and Hills will give you a £5 free bet every time your team wins a World Cup game in 90 mins – CLAIM NOW

Russia v Saudi Arabia Betting Tips

Russia v Saudi Arabia Preview – How Prepared are Russia?

This is obviously not the most enticing opening game to a World Cup. However, there are a few things to interest you in Thursday’s clash; and we’re not just talking about the rumours of a compacted opening ceremony. Once the actual football begins, there will be plenty of interest in the two dugouts. Stanislav Cherchesov is approaching two years as Russia boss, and with a target of a semi-final finish set for him, he’s not likely to stay in the position much longer.

The hosts have a side which is all over the place, and he’s not really settled on a starting 11, despite having no other concerns over the last two years. An early exit at the Confederations Cup didn’t do him any favours, and now the pressure is on the former Legia Warsaw manager.

Meanwhile, Juan Antonio Pizzi has swapped Chile for Saudi Arabia. He may have failed to take the Copa America champions out of the South American qualifiers, but he’s left them behind and booked a path to Russia regardless. They had two other managers guide them through qualifiers, but Pizzi took charge in November, and he’s since looked to create a more attacking, possession based side out of Saudi Arabia. Narrow losses to Germany and Italy of late have given them a little hope that things are turning around ahead of this clash.

Relevant Stats, Injuries and Suspensions

The Russian side are set to play a 3-4-2-1 system in their opener, but they are devoid of talent across the board. They are likely to be reliant on forward Fedor Smolov, who is their lone forward. The striker has seven goals in 14 matches for the national side, and he’s going to be their main scoring threat.

Saudi Arabia are slightly different, with Juan Antonio Pizzi looking to get his team to share the scoring burden. However, their main threat up top is Mohammad Al Sahlawi, who hit 16 goals in 14 matches during qualifying. He’ll be looked at as the leading candidate to strike, yet he’s priced out at 7/2 with Betfair to find the net at any point during the opening game.

Russia v Saudi Arabia – Saudis Can Spoil Party

Russia come in to the tournament as the lowest ranked side at their own World Cup. That’s pretty damning, and even the fact they’ve not been playing qualifiers doesn’t get them off the hook. They’ve had free reign to set up whatever friendlies they liked over recent years, yet they head in to the opener on a seven game run without a victory.

They lost two of their three Confederations Cup matches last summer, and they have won just four times in 17 friendlies since Euro 2016. They’ve slumped ahead of this opening clash, and that could cost them. With a poor defence, they could be vulnerable against a Saudi Arabia side who are improving. They may not be great either, but at least they should move the ball around with purpose. We’re backing both teams to score in this one at 6/4 with Ladbrokes, while we like the look of the 1-1 draw. With Russia in awful form, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a shock from the Saudis.

Russia v Saudi Arabia Head to Head Record

The only recent meeting between these two sides is the encounter back in 1993. The 25-year-old game won’t have a major bearing on this clash. Saudi Arabia do have the head to head edge thanks to a thumping 4-2 victory, but will they be able to add to that with a big win in Moscow this week?

  • Saudi Arabia 4-2 Russia – October 1993, Friendly