By: Dino Bizzarro
Who: Russia vs Saudi Arabia
When: 6/14/2018, 11 AM EST
Where to watch: FOX
Current Odds: Russia -230, Saudi Arabia +800, Draw +330
No home team has ever lost in their opening match of a World Cup.
Russia doesn’t look like they will be the first, despite possibly being the worst European team in the tournament.
Russia is the lowest ranked team in the tournament, based on FIFA’s rankings. Naturally, the second lowest ranked team is their opponent on opening night.
FIFA Rankings are rarely a good indicator of talent, though.
Saudi Arabia’s manager Juan Antonio Pizzi is confident heading into this match- perhaps more confident than he should be. The Saudi’s lost all 3 of their World Cup warm-up matches. That included an embarrassing 3-0 loss to Peru.
Still, Pizzi spouted confidence at a recent news conference.
“We are ready, we are not afraid.” said the Argentine. “Our goal is to beat Russia.”
Although the Russians will be at home, they have no reason to be confident their win will come easy. They’re winless in 4 matches in 2018.
This is a matchup of 2 poor squads and will likely be one of the more boring matches of the cup. However, it does feature the host nation in their first game. That should be enough for Russia to rally to an opening victory.
Prediction: Russia 1 Saudi Arabia 0
Author: Dino Bizzarro
Dino Bizzarro is a co-founder and editor-in-chief of YourWorld Media. He previously worked in both television and radio. In Sarasota, Florida, he starred in Game On Profiles, reporting on the top local high school athletes. During his internship with the National Journalism Center in 2017, he worked at Radio America where he co-produced the television show Behind the Curtain with host Jack Burkman. Within the last 2 years, he’s worked at WUFT in Gainesville, reporting and anchoring the local news. He is originally from Las Vegas and a rising senior at the University of Florida where he majors in telecommunications. He was also trained to wrestle by a former UFC Heavyweight Champion.