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Russia Faces New Zealand in Confederations Cup OpenerPublished June 17, 2017 by Florin P
Russia can debut at the Confederations Cup with a victory over New Zealand in St. Petersburg (4:00 p.m UK Time).
Russia will have home pitch advantage throughout the Confederations Cup and that’s why they are credited with the first chance to win it. The home side will play against New Zealand in the opening match, one that will draw large crowds in St. Petersburg. The visitors are the underdogs in Group A and tend to concede a lot of goals when playing away from home.
New Zealand Fields Defensive Line Up
In the qualifiers for the World Cup, New Zealand looked toothless and had a hard time scoring goals even against mediocre opponents. Friendly games weren’t any better, so this should be a great opportunity for them to try new players. The visitors will try to kickstart their campaign in the Confederations Cup with a decent performance and avoid conceding too many goals.
Playing on the road means that they won’t have the support of their fans, while Russia will have the crowds cheering for it. Under these circumstances, the visitors will field a single striker and will try to surprise the hosts on the counterattack. If they manage to shut down the hosts in the first half, the strategy could work, but there are bigger chances for it to backfire.
Russia Seeks Convincing Victory in Opening Match
For the home side, a narrow margin victory isn’t acceptable, especially against New Zealand. In order to convince spectators to watch the national team match after match, Russia needs to begin the campaign with a lopsided triumph. Their key players are fit to play, so they can field an offensive starting formation and rotate strikers in the second half.
Everything points towards a convincing home win for the hosts and bet365 Sports offers tempting odds on this outcome. Betting on Russia to cover the -1.5 Asian Handicap will result in even odds, which is tremendous value given the difference in quality between the two teams.