World Championship 2018 (Hockey)
Match start: 15:15 (GMT+1)
France together with Austria are considered to be the main underdogs of group A and therefore Ilya Vorobiev’s team should win over them in the World Championship game opening.
However it will be incredibly difficult to do this with 5 defeats in 6 matches under the leadership of the new coach of the Red machine. First of all the strength of the rival is in weaknesses of Russia which so far only occasionally resembles united team.
The work of special teams is the main problem — the majority doesn’t score, the short handed line-up misses regularly. With the Czech Republic (4:2) the team has won for the first time for a long time. But both goals have been missed while paying short-handed with five sending-offs. And in the first case 50 seconds were enough for Czechs.
The main task of the national team from France is to stay in an elite division. Meanwhile results of friendly matches don’t please.
However, as well as Russia, France has managed to sugar-cover a bitter truth of defeats by a victory in the finishing match of preparatory stage. France has won over its future rival at the group stage of WC- Slovakia (3:2).
One of the goals, namely the second one, France has scored having played in unequal line-ups.
The last time of team have met with each other in the World Cups 2014 when Russia have won with the score 3:0. However in 2-13 France gained sensational victory (2:1) that has allowed the team to stay in elite group and hasn’t given to Russia any chances to win the first place in the group.
Russia to win 1.09
France to win 16.70
Despite advantage in the quality of the squad, the teamwork of Vorobiev’s team leaves much to be desired. Besides, since the time of Znarok the Russian national team is famous by the fact that it is difficult for it to begin large tournaments. It is unlikely that the situation will change especially taking into consideration the fact that in 6 previous games the Reds haven’t scored 5 pucks at all.