The wait is finally over because FIFA World Cup 2018 kicks off today in Russia. The hosts will take on Saudi Arabia in a must-win clash at the iconic Luzhniki Stadium. All continents are well represented in the tournament. Soccer fans will certainly miss the Italian iconic style of singing the national anthem. The flying Dutchmen, Confederation Cup finalists Chile and 2010 African heroes Ghana will also watch the games from home. Today, we want to give you a detailed analysis of the fixtures ahead. We will then predict Game One most likely winners from Groups A to H. Who will come out on top? Take a look at the following tips and predictions; we hope this information helps you make an informed decision courtesy of Bet9ja
Group A- Game 1
Russia Vs. Saudi Arabia
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 14, 2018
Russia Coach Stanislav Cherchesov has the world hardest job at the moment. This is because his team has not enjoyed a good run of form in recent months. The challenge of a host country is always poor preparation because they don’t need to qualify. In their last four matches against top oppositions, the hosts have lost to Brazil, France, and Austria. The last friendly match played on 5th June, they drew 1-1 with Turkey. The fans will play a key role for them to go far in this tournament.
Saudi Arabia will be more confident coming into this game because they have enjoyed a better run in their last five matches. In their last friendly match, they lost 2-1 against defending Champions Germany on 8th of June. Italy and Peru also defeated them 2-1 and 3-0 consecutively. In May, they defeated both Greece and Algeria 2-0. If they are not intimidated by the fans, they are capable of spoiling the party for the hosts. However, having said that, no host country has ever lost the opening match. This means the Saudis will be lucky if they get something out of this game.
We Predict Russia win.
Egypt Vs. Uruguay
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) June 14, 2018
Egypt seriously needs their talisman Mohamed Salah on Friday 15th when they take on Uruguay. This is because the Pharaohs have not won a single match in their last five friendly matches. The North Africans lost their last warm-up match against Belgium 3-0 on 6th June. They drew 0-0 with South American giant Columbia and 1-1 against Kuwait on 1st of June and 25th May.
In March, they lost to Greece and Portugal. This is clear that without their star attacker, they simply can’t fire. Uruguay, on the other hand, has not lost a single match in their last six. The 2-time World Cup Champions have won 5, and drawn only once against Venezuela. Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani will be hard to stop. Diego Godin and his colleagues at the back will also make it hard for anybody to penetrate.
We Predict Uruguay Win
Group B- Game 1
Morocco Vs. Iran
5 – The 5 teams currently on the longest unbeaten runs ahead of the 2018 #WorldCup:
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 13, 2018
Morocco will go into this match full of confidence after winning four out of five friendly matches against top oppositions. The North Africans trashed Estonia 3-1 in their last warm-up match. They also defeated Slovakia, Uzbekistan, and Serbia. They drew 0-0 with Ukraine on 31st of May.
Former Manchester United assistant manager Carlos Quiroz will be hoping Iran confidence was not dented by the 2-1 defeat to Turkey on 28t of May. However, his side managed to see off Lithuania in their final friendly match on 8th June. In their last five matches, they have lost twice and won thrice. It is, therefore, a mixed bag.
We Predict Morocco Win
Portugal Vs. Spain
Group B #WorldCup
🇵🇹 Portugal vs Spain 🇪🇸
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— Football Live Stream (@astream_online) June 14, 2018
Spain football fans will hope the drama involving Coach Changes in the last 24hrs does not affect the team preparations for their opening clash against Portugal. The Spanish FA sacked Julen Lopetegui a day after Real Madrid announced he will be the man to take over from Zinedine Zidane. Former La Roja defender Fernando Hierro was quickly appointed to take over the job in Russia tournament. This match will be a tricky one for both sides. They are likely to play for a draw hoping to beat Morocco and Iran to progress.
We Predict a Draw
Group C- Game 1
France Vs. Australia
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) June 10, 2018
1998 FIFA World Cup winners will want to start the tournament in Russia with a win against Australia. The Socceroos defeated Hungary and Czech in their last two friendly matches. They also managed a 0-0 draw against Columbia. However, they were hammered 4-0 in March by Norway who did not even qualify. Le Bleus is one of the five teams considered favorites to lift the trophy in Russia. Didier Deschamps will want a clean start this time around. The European side firepower might be too hot for Tim Cahill and his colleagues.
We Predict France Win
Peru Vs. Denmark
The final FIFA World Cup stadium: Mordovia Arena, which will be the host site for an important group C matchup between Peru and Denmark. pic.twitter.com/pIlTjaE1iL
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 14, 2018
Peru is a team on a mission if we go by their current form. The South Americans have won four and drawn only one match in their last five outings. Denmark biggest problem is scoring goals despite not losing their last five. They have drawn 0-0 against Chile and Sweden. The good news for the Danes is that they thrashed Mexico 2-0 in their final warm-up clash against Mexico. This means this match can go either way. France is expected to win the Group, but any of the other three can progress alongside them.