The build up to the 2018 World Cup continues this week as the competing nations prepare themselves for the biggest tournament on the planet. This week, hosts Russia aim to build some momentum ahead of the event as they play Turkey in a friendly match at the Luzhniki Stadium on Tuesday night.
This match may be labelled officially as a friendly game but for the Russian players, it means much more than that as they look to give their fans some confidence ahead of the World Cup. Turkey are using this game to prepare for the upcoming UEFA Nations League and Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
Russia have been forced to play a number of friendly matches in the build up to the 2018 World Cup as they are hosting the tournament. However, form has not been good in recent games and Russia have failed to win any of their last 6 friendly matches.
Following the 1-1 draw with Iran back in October 2017, Russia have lost to Argentina, Brazil, France and Austria. The only positive result of any note was the 3-3 draw at home with Spain but that was back in November.
Since then, Russia have lost at home to Brazil and France plus suffered a 1-0 reverse in Austria. Other than the match against Spain, scoring goals has been a problem for Russia and they have found the back of the net just once in their last 3 games.
Turkey were drawn in a tough World Cup qualifying group and finished in fourth place behind Iceland, Croatia and Ukraine. The 3-0 home defeat against Iceland towards the end of the campaign was a killer blow and Turkey ended the group with a 2-2 draw in Finland.
Since then, Turkey have played 6 friendly games, losing the first two against Romania and Albania but have come into a bit of form in recent matches.
In their last 4 friendly games, Turkey have defeated Republic of Ireland and Iran plus finished level with Montenegro and Tunisia. Therefore, Turkey will be coming in to this match feeling a little better about themselves and the team is in better form.
In contrast to their opponents, Turkey have been scoring goals and have netted twice in each of their last 3 games.
Russia will look to freshen things up following the defeat against Austria and that could mean starts for Alan Dzagoev, Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba. However, this is Stanislav Cherchesov’s last chance to settle on his starting XI for the World Cup.
Turkey could also make some changes following their last match against Tunisia and Yunus Malli, Oguzhan Ozyakup and Berkay Ozcan could all come into the starting XI.
Top Betting Tips
This is the final chance for Russia to get back to winning ways before the start of the World Cup but Turkey are in decent form coming into this match. It would be a surprise to see Russia go down in the match ahead of the tournament but they are struggling to win matches. The draw is available at 2/1 with Betbright.
Turkey have been scoring goals in recent games and will be aiming to keep up their good attacking play. Therefore, if Russia are to get something from the game they will most likely need to score themselves. The draw and both teams to score is 18/5 at William Hill. For more sites follow this link.
If Russia are to score, the goal is most likely to come from striker, Fyodor Smolov. The Krasnodar man appears to be first choice in attack and can be backed at 7/2 with Ladbrokes to get the first goal of the match. The UK’s Best Free Bet Offers you can find here.