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Russia v Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia to play 2018 World Cup Opener with Russia

14:40 GMT+4 02/12/2017
Fifa World Cup Draw
Saudi Arabia were drawn in a group with Egypt, Russia and Uruguay in Group A of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. They will play the opener against Russia.

The Saudi Arabian National team were pitted with Russia, Uruguay and fellow Arabian side Egypt in Group A during yesterday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Draw. They were drawn as team A2 which means that they will play the opener against Russia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow with the whole world watching in anticipation on the 14th of June, 2018. This is expected to be on the same day as the first day of the Islamic Holiday Eid Al-Fitr, a holiday of celebration after a month of fasting in Ramadan.

The Falcons will play against Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez’s Uruguay six days later in Rostov-on-don before completing their group stage matches with Egypt, the fellow Arabian side who were pitted in the same group as the Greens, on the 25th of June.

The draw has been relatively kind to the Saudi Arabian National Team who managed to avoid the bigger nations such as Germany, Brazil and Spain, but the challenge they face in Russia and Uruguay is tough. The group brings back memories of 2006, when Saudi Arabia faced Ukraine, Spain and another Arabian nation in Tunisia. They came out with a 2-2 draw against Tunisia, before being thrashed 4-0 by Ukraine and beaten 1-0 by Spain to be eliminated from the group stage.

The Saudi Football Federation preparations are underway to ensure all national team players under new manager Juan Antonio Pizzi are mentally ready for the competition which starts in June 2018, and the transfers of Saudi players abroad on loan deals is still a very plausible scenario being proposed by the Saudi FF.