Tue, May 22, 2:04pm by Staff Writer
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Russia on the 15th of June with the hosts taking on Saudi Arabia in the tournaments opening game from Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Russia are joined in group A by Egypt and Uruguay, with the South Americans firm favourites to top the group.
The Uruguayan’s are $1.12 to advance past the group stage, with the Russian team $1.33. The top two teams of each group progress to face teams from Group B in the knockout phase.
Uruguay is a familiar football team to Australian viewers after the Socceroos played a number of World Cup qualification games against the crafty South Americans.
Nowadays their team is filled with talent playing in some of Europe’s top leagues including Barcelona’s Luis Suarez and PSG’s Edinson Cavani.
Uruguay is $1.80 to top Group A, with their final group match against Russia on June 25 likely to decide who finishes top of the group.
The Russian team is comprised of many Russian Premier League players from the national competition’s most prestigious clubs such as CSKA Moscow and Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Russia are $2.80 to advance to knockout play in what is a weak composition of teams in Group A. The hosts have had a woeful record at the World Cup over the past 20 years, failing to qualify three times and exiting at the group stage on the other three occasions.
At the last World Cup, they were winless in the Group Stage amongst, failing to qualify for the knockout stages despite being grouped with Algeria and South Korea.
The Pharaohs of Egypt return to the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 28 years and will be outsiders to progress past the group stage.
Egypt is $6 to top Group A and $2.20 to qualify for the knockout stages.
Liverpool ace Mohamed Salah will lead the Pharaoh’s after his dramatic penalty last in the African qualification tournament ensured they would progress to the World Cup.
Salah is one of the world’s best players at the moment and is sure to provide his national team with much needed scoring power at the World Cup.
Despite possessing an excellent continental record, Egypt has struggled at the World Cup and has never won a match in the competition.
They face a tough match against Uruguay first up before taking on hosts Russia in Saint Petersburg and closing out group play against Saudi Arabia in Volgograd.
Saudi Arabia returns to the World Cup for the first time since 2006 when they were eliminated in the group stage.
The Middle Eastern nation is familiar to Australian football fans as they finished above the Socceroos in the third round of Asian qualification to gain direct entry into the 2018 World Cup.
Saudi Arabia has not won a game at the World Cup since its debut in 1994 where it won two matches in the United States.
They are firm outsiders to qualify for the knockout stages at $9 and even longer to top the group at $34 at Sportsbet.
In the market to win the World Cup, Uruguay are the best priced of the four teams in Group A at $34.
The hosts Russia are $41 and face a tough path to the final if they are to reach it, with Spain or Portugal awaiting them if they pass through group A.
Egypt are a $151 shot to win the World Cup, with Saudi Arabia even less likely at $501.
Suggested Bet: Uruguay to top the group at $1.80.
Group A Winner
Saudi Arabia $34
To qualify from Group A
Saudi Arabia $9
Russia $1.25 Draw $5 Saudi Arabia $9.50
Egypt $5 Draw $3.40 Uruguay $1.67
Saudi Arabia $501
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