1,432 days since Germany became World Champions, we are now about to get the 2018 FIFA World Cup underway in Moscow as tournament hosts, Russia host Saudi Arabia in the opening match.
Russia have brought 38 year-old defender, Sergei Ignashevich out of international retirement after defensive injuries left them in crisis.
Saudi Arabia meanwhile have a fully fit squad with a selection decision regarding who starts front, having rotated Mohammed Al-Sahlawi and Muhannad Assiri during recent friendlies.
Russia enter this match in worrying form with a no wins in any of last five friendlies, despite drawing against Turkey last time out.
During that time, they have scored five and conceded 11 goals despite picking up a little pattern.
Saudi Arabia meanwhile have played nine friendly matches this year, avoiding defeat in four of them (W3 D1).
After posting a pair of 2-0 wins over Algeria and Greece, the Arabs however are winless in their last three despite losing two of those defeats being 2-1 results against European giants in Italy and Germany respectively.
Both teams don’t seem to be in the strongest form at present so this will either be a damp squib of an opener or a thriller.
Add in Saudi Arabia’s recent record against European teams and I am leaning towards a draw here.
Prediction: Russia 1-1 Saudi Arabia