World Cup Goalscorer Betting: Cheryshev to star in tournament opener
Using expected goals (xG) data, Infogol's analyst picks out the best goalscorer bet in tonight's World Cup opener between Russia and Saudi Arabia...
"He is one of only two players in the squad to ply their trade outside of Russia, and the only to play in one of Europe’s top leagues."
Infogol on Denis Cheryshev
Russia v Saudi Arabia
Live on BBC and ITV
There may be more hope - rather than expectation- that host country Russia will do well in the 2018 World Cup, but Infogol expects them to get off to a good start, our data giving them a 70% chance of winning their opening game against Saudi Arabia.
In terms of goalscorers for Thursday's match, star striker Fedor Smolov heads the betting, but the Krasnador forward looks a tad short at 23/10 to score first. Preference, instead, is for Villarreal winger Denis Cheryshev to score anytime. He is one of only two players in the squad to ply their trade outside of Russia, and the only to play in one of Europe's top leagues.
Despite simple goals and assist figures suggesting otherwise, Cheryshev had a solid season for the Yellow Submarine. He averaged 0.5 xGF per 90 for Villarreal, showing that he gets on the end of at least one good chance per 90 - a solid return for a winger.
Taking this into account, and the fact that Russia are expected to come away with the win, Cheryshev looks a good bet at 7/2 to score anytime in this match.