Russia to win at 1.8with Bet Victor /SBK / Matchbook / Coolbet 2 units (min 1.75)
- Russia are coming off a comfortable 3-1 win over Malta mid-week; they did concede but overall kept things tight at the back (0.27xGA)
- In that game, they pulled into an early 2-0 lead and took their foot off the pedal in the 2nd half.
- Russia's best creative outlet Aleksei Miranchuk didn't start against Malta; he should start here. In qualification games and UNL, Russia have scored in every match when he plays 50+ mins.
- Expected XI: Shunin; Fernandes, Semenov, Dzhikiya, Karavaev; Akhmetov, Miranchuk; Kuzyaev, Golovin, Ionov; Dyzuba
- Russia have been effective at home; in the UNL they were unbeaten against Hungary, Turkey, and Serbia. They generated a healthy 1.72xG per 90 from these games.
- In their last qualification campaign, they won all their home games bar the one with Belgium (xG 1.84-1.01 in Russia's favour)
- Since October 2014, Russia have beaten every side outside the FIFA top 50 at home (competitive matches)
- The last time they failed to win was when they hosted Moldova in the Euro 2016 qualifiers.
- Slovenia pulled off a shock 1-0 win over Croatia mid-week; the early goal (15') meant they could play a very conservative game. Croatia were poor but did edge the xG and shot count. Neither team looked impressive.
- Slovenia are now unbeaten in 9 matches, but we have to look at the quality of the opponent; excluding the mid-week game, none of those opponents have been inside the FIFA top 50.
- The last time they travelled to a side inside the FIFA top 50 was when they travelled to Poland and lost 3-2
- Before that, they lost on their trips to Austria, Norway.
- The last time they avoided defeat on the road to a team ranked as high as Russia (39th) was when they beat Iceland 2-4 in 2013
- Slovenia will be travelling to Sochi (+2,000km) for this game; it's not a massive trip, but travelling through two time zones does come with some challenges.
- I'd worry about Slovenia's attacking output; if Russia can score, that could be enough for three points.
- Against Croatia, they scored from outside the box with a 0.09xG chance from Sandi Lovrič
- In their two "difficult" UNL (Group C) matches, they failed to score against Greece and put up just 0.59xG over the two games.
Final word: Russia have been consistently good at home against this level of opponent, providing they can get on the scoresheet, this should get over the line