Female Saudi flag bearers to miss opener vs Russian Federation

Russia to win first World Cup match, says clairvoyant cat

Over 20 million male and female Saudis are set to enthusiastically watch the World Cup 2018 opening football match between Saudi Arabia and Russia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia at 6.00 p.m. Thursday.

Russian Federation can now prepare to face Egypt next week full of confidence while Saudi Arabia need to find instant improvement if they are to avoid further embarrassment against Uruguay.

As Saudi Arabia lost all semblance of organization, Cheryshev turned a win into a thrashing with a stunning outside-of-the-foot shot in the dying moments, and Golovin once again stole the headlines with a trademark free kick with the last touch of the game.

Taking this into account, and the fact that Russian Federation are expected to come away with the win, Cheryshev looks a good bet at 7/2 to score anytime in this match.

Following his release a short time after his arrest, Mr Tatchell tweeted he had been, "charged with violating Federal Law 54 & Presidential Decree 202, which prohibit all protests near the Kremlin & during World Cup".

Gazinsky put home a header, and the Saudi Arabian goalie simply couldn't get to it despite a good effort. The Russians embarked on a goalscoring frenzy during a second half in which Budweiser Man of the Match Cheryshev staked an early claim for goal of the tournament.

A candid Pizzi dismissed the notion his players had been affected by it being the first game of the tournament, but conceded it had not been a positive experience. Russia's win was also the biggest in a World Cup opener in 84 years since Italy's 7-1 over the United States in 1934.

More news: World Cup host Russian Federation spent billions, but will its economy benefit?

Several minutes later Russia's Head Coach Cherchesov opted for another replacement and sent in Artyom Dzyuba in place of Fyodor Smolov.

And we're off! The 2018 World Cup is officially underway and, after a typically eclectic opening ceremony that featured Robbie Williams attempting to work his way back into the public eye, one finger at a time, the host nation made a fantastic start by thrashing Saudi Arabia.

Salman Al Faraj headed a decent chance over the crossbar as Saudi Arabia sought a reply after the interval.

Dzagoev was then replaced by Cheryshev as one of Russia's key players went down with what looked like a pretty serious hamstring injury.

A Saudi Arabia fan holds a replica world cup outside the stadium before the match.

Both teams are struggling for form too losing the majority of their World Cup Friendlies, but given both sides lack of quality, they could cancel each other out.

Egor Titov, ex global: "We must do well in the first two games not to let everything depend on the last one".

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