Confederations Cup, Group A
Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg 4pm
Russia vs New Zealand – Match Preview – Russia and New Zealand will kick off their 2017 Confederations Cup campaigns on Saturday 17th June at 16:00 GMT. The hosts, Russia, will feel confident heading into the match with some decent form in their recent friendlies. The Russians easily beat Hungary 3-0 and then drew 1-1 with tough opponents, Chile.
The tournament will be Russia’s last competitive international matches before the 2018 World Cup; of which they are hosting. Stanislav Cherchesov’s men will look to make a big impression in this opening match, in front of a home crowd at the Stadion Krestovskyi. With the nightmare of last summer’s European Championships in their heads too, the Russians are playing for personal pride as well as patriotic pride. Russia are favourites for the match, will they make it a routine victory?
New Zealand qualified for the Confederations Cup by becoming the Oceania Champions- a fairly weak continent of competitors. New Zealand boss, Anthony Hudson, shouldn’t be feeling too much pressure however as his team are viewed as rather large underdogs; with recent form to not suggest otherwise. In their two recent friendlies, ‘The Kiwis’ have lost at the hands to Northern Ireland and more embarrassingly, Belarus, in 1-0 defeats that haven’t left much hope for them in this tournament. It would be a monumental turn around to overcome the Russian riot heading their way.
Russia are without left-back, Fedor Kudryashov, due to a yellow card suspension.
Other than him, Russia are at full strength for their opening match. Russia will look to key attacker, Fyodor Smolov, to be a presence in the New Zealand box. The striker scored in their recent friendly against Hungary and if selected, will be looking to get another international goal
New Zealand have no injuries or suspensions to alter team selection.
EFL Championship striker, Chris Wood, has had an impressive season with Leeds United and his country will now look to him to do the same in his nations colours. Wood ended the season as the league’s top goal scorer with 27 goals and four assists; a statistic that make him New Zealand’s danger man, can he provide a goal for his country?
- Skybet Price Boost – Aleksandr Samedov to score and Russia to win in 90 mins – 7/2
- Skybet Price Boost – New Zealand to win 1-0 – 25/1
- Skybet Scorecast Boost – Yuri Zhirkov to score first and Russia to win 3-1 – 125/1
- Skybet Scorecast Boost (Double Chance) – Marco Rojas to score first and either New Zealand to win 2-0 or New Zealand to win 1-0 – 125/1
- Skybet Correct Score Group Betting – Russia to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 – 5/4
- Skybet Goalscorer Treble – Fyodor Smolov, Aleksandr Samedov and Chris Wood All to Score – 33/1