The 2018 World Cup kicks off on Thursday, June 14, 2018 with a Group A fixture between host nation Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Thursday’s match will be the only one held on that day to coincide with the opening ceremony, with three group stage fixtures taking place each day until June 28.
Russia enters the match in full strength but has yet to win a friendly in 2018, with two of the matches coming against Brazil and France.
Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, played well in a 2-1 loss to Germany last week and is confident it can get something in this game.
Game: Russia vs Saudi Arabia
Date: Thursday, June 14
In Nigeria, the match will be shown on DSTY Supersports channels and GOTV sports channels.
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on ITV or streamed live online using the ITV Player. Saudi Arabia
What are the squads?
Defenders: Mansoor Al Harbi (Al Ahli), Yasser Al Shahrani (Al Hilal) Mohammed Al Breik (Al Hilal), Motaz Hawsawi (Al Ahli), Osama Hawsawi (Al Hilal), Omar Hawsawi (Al Nassr), Ali Al Bulaihi (Al Hilal).
Midfielders: Abdullah Al Khaibari (Al Shabab), Abdulmalek Al Khaibri (Al Hilal), Abdullah Otayf (Al Hilal), Taiseer Al Jassim (Al Ahli), Houssain Al Mogahwi (Al Ahli), Salman Al Faraj, Mohamed Kanno (both Al Hilal), Hattan Bahebri (Al Shabab), Salem Al Dawsari (Al Hilal), Yahya Al Shehri (Al Nassr), Fahad Al Muwallad (Al Ittihad)
Forwards: Mohammad Al Sahlawi (Al Nassr), Muhannad Assiri (Al Ahli)
Defenders: Mario Fernandes (CSKA Moscow), Vladimir Granat (Rubin Kazan), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Fyodor Kudryashov (Rubin Kazan), Ilya Kutepov (Spartak Moscow), Andrei Semyonov (Akhmat Grozny), Igor Smolnikov (Zenit St. Petersburg).
Midfielders: Denis Cheryshev (Villarreal), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Yuri Gazinsky (FC Krasnodar), Alexander Golovin (CSKA Moscow), Daler Kuzyaev (Zenit St. Petersburg), Anton Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Alexander Samedov (Spartak Moscow), Alexander Yerokhin (Zenit St. Petersburg), Yuri Zhirkov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Roman Zobnin (Spartak Moscow).
Forwards: Artyom Dzyuba (Arsenal Tula), Alexei Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Fyodor Smolov (FC Krasnodar).
Russia don’t have a standout players. So they will have to rely on the emerging talents of Aleksandr Golovin, who is their most dangerous attacking player and aged just 22.
They have also included ex-Chelsea full-back Zhirkov who is s nearing the end of his international career.
Potential Russia XI: Akinfeev; Zhirkov, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Fernandes; Golovin, Kuzyayev, Zobnin, Samedov; Dzagoev, Smolov
For the Saudi Arabians, they parade three key men in the likes of Al-Abed, Al-Muwall and Al-Shehri.
Al-Abed scored five goals in the qualification stages and remains to be Saudi Arabia’s top-scorer en route to the finals.
Potential Saudi Arabia XI: Al-Muaiouf, Al-Burayk, Al-Boleahi, Hawsawi, Al-Harbi, Al-Faraj, Ali-Khaibari, Kanno, Al-Jassim, Al-Shehri, Al-Sahlawi
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