Saudi Arabia have already played nine matches in 2018, far more than most sides in the competition. They do, however, come into Thursday’s match on the back of three warm-up defeats.
Most recently, Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men put on a respectable show in Germany, losing 2-1 to the World Champions. Saudi Arabia lost by the same scoreline against Italy before suffering a 3-0 defeat to Peru.
Saudi Arabia will be making their fourth appearance at the World Cup. Saudi Arabia were the lowest-ranked team to qualify for the World Cup. Their last win at the finals came in 1994, where the Green Falcons made the last 16.
Home advantage should play a role on Thursday night. All but two members of Russia’s 23-man squad play their football domestically.
Can the Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia cause an upset in the opening game vs Russia?
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