The World Cup begins June 14 with the host country Russia taking on Saudi Arabia in Moscow to kick off the competition.


As the host nation, Russia automatically qualified for the 2018 World Cup and comes in with the homefield advantage despite a poor stretch leading up to the tournament going 0-4-3 since its last win. Saudi Arabia comes in as the lowest ranked team in the competition and is making its first World Cup appearance since 2006 and looking for their first win since 1994.

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The remaining two teams in Group A should provide quite a challenge with Egypt and Uruguay rounding out the quartet. The home country always stands a chance to make a run but both Russia and Saudi Arabia will need to take advantage of every opportunity as they look to advance.

World Cup schedule: Russia vs. Saudi Arabia
When: Saturday, June 14, 11:00 a.m. ET
Where: Moscow, Russia, Luzhniki Stadium

MORE: Full World Cup schedule

Russia vs. Saudi Arabia TV channel, live stream
In the U.S., Russia vs. Saudi Arabia will be broadcast live on Fox. It can also be live-streamed on fuboTV (7-day free trial).

Russia Roster
Goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev, Vladimir Gabulov, Andrei Lunyov

Defenders: Mario Fernandes, Vladimir Granat, Sergei Ignashevich, Fyodor Kudryashov, Ilya Kutepov, Andrei Semyonov, Igor Smolnikov.

Midfielders: Denis Cheryshev, Alan Dzagoev, Yuri Gazinsky, Alexander Golovin, Daler Kuzyaev, Anton Miranchuk, Alexander Samedov, Alexander Yerokhin, Yuri Zhirkov, Roman Zobnin

Forwards: Artyom Dzyuba, Alexei Miranchuk, Fyodor Smolov

Saudi Arabia Roster
Goalkeepers: Mohammed Al Owais, Yasser Al Mosailem, Abdullah Al Mayouf

Defenders: Mansoor Al Harbi, Yasser Al Shahrani, Mohammed Al Breik, Motaz Hawsawi, Osama Hawsawi, Omar Hawsawi, Ali Al Bulaihi

Midfielders: Abdullah Al Khaibari, Abdulmalek Al Khaibri, Abdullah Otayf, Taiseer Al Jassim, Houssain Al Mogahwi, Salman Al Faraj, Mohamed Kanno, Hattan Bahebri, Salem Al Dawsari, Yahya Al Shehri, Fahad Al Muwallad

Forwards: Mohammad Al Sahlawi, Muhannad Assiri


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Russia vs. Saudi Arabia facts
Russia and Saudi Arabia’s only previous encounter was in October 1993 where the Saudis won 4-2 at home in a friendly.
Since the split up of the USSR, Russia have never reached the knockout stages of the World Cup in three appearances (1994, 2002, 2014). They have finished third in their group in each of those three years.
France were the last World Cup hosts to win the trophy in 1998. The hosts have always reached the second round of the competition with the only exception coming in 2010 when South Africa were knocked out in the group stages.
Russia are winless in their last five games at the World Cup (D2 L3). In fact, Russia’s only two wins at the World Cup since independence were against African teams (6-1 vs. Cameroon in 1994, 2-0 vs. Tunisia in 2002).
This is Saudi Arabia’s fifth World Cup, their first since 2006. They have finished bottom of their group in their last three appearances, their best performance dating back to their opening tournament in 1994 (knocked out by Sweden in the round of 16).
Saudi Arabia have won none of their last 10 games at the World Cup, losing eight of them (D2). In fact, their last win in the competition dates back to the group stages of the 1994 edition (1-0 vs. Belgium).
Saudi Arabia have also never won their opening game at the World Cup (D1 L3).
Saudi Arabia have kept only one clean sheet in their 13 games at the World Cup in their 1-0 win against Belgium in June 1994. They have also failed to score in seven of their last nine games in the tournament.
Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov made one appearance as a player at the World Cup in Russia’s 6-1 win against Cameroon on June 28, 1994, a game in which Oleg Salenko scored five goals, a World Cup record for most goals in a game.
This is Juan Antonio Pizzi’s first World Cup as manager. He featured in one game with Spain as a player in the 1998 tournament. His only previous experience as national team manager was with Chile whom he led to finals in his two tournaments: winners in the 2016 Copa America and runners-up in the 2017 Confederations Cup.
RUSSIA - SAUDI ARABIA WATCH LIVE STREAM