World cup Rusia now is start in first match. As a host, so the first match Russia vs Saudia arabia.
After months of anticipation, World Cup 2018 finally gets underway on Thursday as hosts Russia take on Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Little is expected of Russia at the tournament, but their best chance of qualifying for the knockout stage involves beating a nation making their first World Cup appearance since 2006.
Saudi Arabia enter the competition led by their third coach in less than a year, and know only a positive result against Russia will give them hope of being competitive in a wide open Group A.
Russia have brought 38-year-old Sergei Ignashevich out of international retirement because of a number of defensive injuries and he is expected to start.
Star man Aleksandr Kokorin misses this tournament with a knee injury so their most likely match-winner is striker Fedor Smolov.
Saudi Arabia coach Juan Antonio Pizzi faces a selection dilemma up front.
Mohammed Al-Sahlawi and Muhannad Assiri both rotated in the warm-up friendlies. [Read more…]