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Since Russia is hosting World Cup 2018, they did not participate in the qualification games which is a disadvantage to them because the more games you play the more you are prepared for games at a big stage like the World Cup. On other hand they have some advantages in terms of playing on home soil and their spectators which will support them along the way. They have been drawn in Group A along side Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Uruguay.
Now let's look a brief analysis of Russia based on last four friendly fixtures which were against Spain, Argentina, Iran, and South Korea.
Key Player: Fedor Smolov and Aleksey Miranchuk, which scored 5 of 7 goals in their last 4 fixtures.
Strength: Quick short passes and long ball to the wingers.
Weakness: The area behind their right and left back.
Most common formation: 5-3-2
Three of seven goals were scored from corners and two of them were a result of a long ball to the wingers.
Saudi Arabia qualified for World Cup 2018 after being away from the World Cup for 8 years, which give them motivation to achieve more this World Cup.
Now let's look a brief analysis of Saudi Arabia based on their qualification camping which they had to play against good teams such as Japan and Australia.
Key Players: Yasir al Shahrani and Mohammed al Sahlawi
Strength: High tempo attacking style.
Weakness: Terrible goalkeeper, long range shots, disconnection between defender.
Most common formation: 4-2-3-1
It is their first appearance in world cup since 1990 so there is heavy weight on their shoulders to perform well in this World Cup and I foresee them going through as second team of group.
Key Players: Mo Salah and Elneny
Strength: Speed of Mo Salah, counter attack.
Most Common formation: 4-2-3-1
Two time champion qualified for their third consecutive World Cup as they will be participating in World Cup 2018. Uruguay has always been a tournament team and has always performed well at world cup. With the quality of Cavani/Suarez and Uruguay pedigree as well, I see them go through next round easily. They did not perform very well in the qualification camping as they did get good results against big teams such as Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia.
Key Players: Cavani And Suarez
Weakness: Short in number when defending, Slow central defenders, Lack of communication in defense.
Most common formation: 4-4-2
World Cup Game Prediction and Positions
Russia 2 Saudi Arabia 1
Egypt 0 Uruguay 1
Russia 0 Egypt 2
Uruguay 3 Saudi Arabia 0
Russia 1 Uruguay 2
Saudi Arabia 1 Egypt 2