Russia may be the host country for the 2018 World Cup but the host team is a 33/1 Offshore bookmaker long shot to win the tournament. The best finish for the Russian national team was fourth place in the 1966 World Cup. While everyone can be sure that President Vladimir Putin is dreaming big the more realistic observers have reasonable doubts as to whether the Russians can even get out of Group A. Group A of the 2018 World Cup consists of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Uruguay.
World Cup Group A
Date and Time: June 14 through July 15 2018
2018 World Cup TV Coverage: TBA
Uruguay is the top Offshore bookmaker favorite from Group A to win the World Cup at 25/1. Egypt opened as a prohibitive 150/1 long shot while Saudi Arabia opened at 750/1. In the opening games of Group A Team Russia will face Saudi Arabia and Uruguay will take on Egypt. None of the teams in Group A have any public betting appeal with World Cup soccer handicappers. This is a field that consists of also ran teams that have no reputation at all with the betting public. FIFA did Russia and Putin a favor in putting this Group together as it sets up well for the host nation to advance out of the group.
What are the odds?
The Betting odds opened with Russia as a -265 favorite over Saudi Arabia (+980) in their opening matchup with a draw at +384. The favorite in the other Group A opener is Uruguay at -150 with Egypt as a +400 draw and a draw at +290.
The Russian manager is 54 year old Stanislav Cherchesov. He was named head coach of the Russian national team in August of 2016 with a contract to coach all the way through the World Cup. Cherchesov is a long time coach from the Russian professional leagues. He was coach of the famed Dynamo Moscow team in 2014 and 2015. Sergei Ignashevich has 120 caps for Team Russia, the most in the history of the team.
Aleksandr Kerzhakov is the top scorer in team Russia history with 30 goals. Kerzhakov ranks as the second all-time goal scorer for the national team if the Soviet Union era teams are included. In the 2014 FIFA World Cup at Brazil, Russia lost two games and had one draw. That may not sound like much but it was considerable progress for a program that has failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2006 and 2010. Despite the lack of historic success there will be high expectations for the Russian team as World Cup host.
Matchup to Watch
All eyes will be on the Offshore bookmaker matchup of Russia vs. Saudi Arabia. It is a golden opportunity for the Russians to get off to the best possible start and build confidence and momentum. The lightly regarded Saudi Arabian team stands little chance against Russia, especially at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. An overflow crowd of Russian fans will be there with Putin and anything less than victory is not an option.
World Cup Group A World Cup Betting Odds Picks
Russia is the pick to win Group A. They are the best team with all the intangibles in an otherwise weak group of teams.
World Cup Betting Online Pick: Russia to Win Group A