The 2018 FIFA World Cup is about to kick off its first match on Thursday as host Russia face Saudi Arabia. It’s the tournament’s opener, which also means that it will be the most watched game of the competition. The two teams in Group A are looking to make a statement in their first match, especially the host nation for three important points. Following the first game is a match between Uruguay and Egypt on Friday with one of the most anticipated players of the tournament, Mohamed Salah, who remains doubtful for the match after facing a shoulder injury in the Champions League Final against Real Madrid last month.
Winning the first match is key to any team in the World Cup. For Russia, they are carrying the entire nation on their shoulders as they seek to deliver in front of their home crowd. More than that, they have to make up for a shaky start in 2018 as they failed to win any of their friendly matches, with two played against international football giants Brazil and France.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is coming off a well-played 2-1 loss to Germany last week. The look forward to deliver positive results after showing that they can answer back to the previous World Cup Champions. Their coach, Juan Antonio Pizzi, who failed to lead Chile to qualification gets another shot at the 2018 World Cup after landing the Saudi football team head coach gig in November.
Early 2018 FIFA World Cup Predictions
The first match looks even between the two teams, but Russia is expected to take the three points and beat Saudi Arabia with a narrow scoreline.
By Tuesday, all 32 teams will have played their first matches. Each nation’s first match sets the tone for whether it can go past the group stages and reach the round of 16 at the very least. More than that, the opening matches also gives us a glimpse of teams that were overhyped and underrated.
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