Russian Federation 2018: Putin says he can’t wish Saudi Arabia success today

Russian Federation 2018: Putin says he can’t wish Saudi Arabia success today

England coach Gareth Southgate believes it will be hard to predict the teams that will advance out of Group A at the 2018 World Cup.

A few hours ago, I went down to the stadium, which can hold over 80-thousand spectators, ... and ticket holders for the opening match were crowding in already for the World Cup's opening ceremony.

Two-goal hero Denis Cheryshev celebrates victory with teammates after Russia's 5-0 rout of Saudi Arabia.

He said: "Unlike fearless Russian protesters, I have the "protection" of a British passport, which means I have been treated more leniently than they are".

Another substitute, Artem Dzyuba, made it 3-0 with about 20 minutes remaining, putting the game out of Saudi Arabia's reach.

Saudi Arabia started brightly, but it was Russian Federation who would open the scoring with the first shot on target of the game on 12 minutes.

Yet given Saudi Arabia's high turnover of coaches, including a previous mid-World Cup sacking, the Argentine-born Pizzi could well be on his way before he gets a chance to try and rectify the situation. ITV's coverage kicked off at 2.30pm BST, but if you were busy at the time, you can always catch up through ITV Hub.

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The Queen doesn't indulge in worries and she didn't spend a lot of time checking on Meghan, but instead let her get on with it. Meghan appeared to ask the Queen: "What's your preference?".

The president, newly re-elected after 18 years in power, will listen to British singer Robbie Williams with what the Kremlin listed as an array of 15 foreign leaders - though that included eight from ex-Soviet neighbours as well as two from Russian-backed breakaway regions of Georgia.

Pat Janssen, CEO of Al Shabab: "Saudi Arabia could be the surprise package in the group". Saudi Arabia top-scored in Asian qualifying so both teams to score is worth backing at a relatively big price.

What's next? The other two sides in Group A - Egypt and Uruguay - open their campaigns when they meet at midnight tonight (NZT).

Russia's players were significantly taller and heavier than the Saudis, a help when challenging for the ball and when the penalty area was crowded. And the Russian President's reaction to the goals galore was class apart.

But there was a major blow for the hosts mid-way through the half as star playmaker Dzagoev limped off with a hamstring injury, to be replaced by Cheryshev.

Named flag bearers as part of a programme run by Coca-Cola, the girls, aged 13 to 17, were supposed to lead the Saudi national team onto the pitch at Moscow's Luzhniki stadium ahead of their match against Russian Federation.

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