The World Cup 2018 games are ahead and Russia is madly trying to prepare all participating arenas and stadiums in its host cities. Some stadiums have undergone extensive upgrades, such as Luzhniki and Fisht, while other stadiums have undergone minor changes to satisfy FIFA regulations. These stadiums need to not look good, they must have safe and level playing fields, as the world is watching. Many people may be wondering if Russia can have a strong home advantage to winning the World Cup 2018?
Well, probably not, as there are games being played in 11 different ci-ties and at 12 different stadiums. But let’s take a closer look, so you can decide for yourself.
Luzhniki Stadium in particular is being watched with great interest. Often stadiums are built for a set of games, then torn down quickly afterwards. It’s surprising that this stadium was designed in 90 days, and took only 18 months to build. It’s still around, but has needed an extensive upgrade in this past year.
The Stadium has hosted the Olympic Games in 1980, several world championship games, USSR Spartakiades, and more. The stadium will be hosting the opening gala for the World Cup 2018, as well as the first game of FIFA World Cup 2018 and more. It has a capacity for 81,000 people.
All About the Luzhniki Revamp
The Luzhnikiremodelling plans were drawn up by architects. These took about eight months to be approved by FIFA. Obviously, home team isn’t going to be allowed to have a massive locker room, while the visitor has a tiny space.
Many people believe that it actually would have been cheaper to tear down the entire stadium and build a new one. But since the stadium has an extensive history, they decided to preserve the historic facade and revamp the interior instead.
The stadium is a noticeable part of the Moscow skyline. Many people have been pleased that it’s being kept, even though costs were consi-derably higher to do so.
The interior of the stadium will be a state-of-the-art, totally FIFA-compliant arena for the games ahead.
There will be two opening matches played on June 14, 2018. The first will be Russia versus Saudi Arabia, played at Luzhniki Stadium. Since Russia is playing the first match in Group A, at Luzhniki Stadium, many people will place their bets on winning.
While team spirit in Moscow may provide a boost to the players during this first match, since the Stadium is undergoing extensive repairs and renovations, it’s unlikely the team will really have any length of time for scoping out the field or practicing on the field. If they have any advantage at all, it will merely be in civic pride.
Also, is a strong contender for the title. They’ve won the World Cup in 1930 and 1950, and are likely highly motivated to up their game to win the latest cup.
11 Different Participating Cities
If a team wins a game, then they’ll need to travel to the next city for the next game. If you view a map of Russia, where the 11 different participating countries are, you can see that the cities are spread out. Kalingrad and Yekaterinburg are as far apart as you can get. Saint Petersburg to Sochi is also quite a distance.
We have no access to information on how players will get from city to city. But since the venues are so far apart, we can rule out buses, so that leaves train or air transportation. This means that players who must do a lot of travelling back and forth may have the disadvantage in their next game.
Since there’s no schedule beyond the first set of Group A to Group H matches, we don’t know which teams are going to have to travel, and which ones get to stay put, if they do advance for the next match.
Closing Thoughts on Home Advantage
Total seating capacity will be 81,000. There will be about 1700 VIP seats, and 2000 press seats. The green will also be fresh and brand new.
The Luzhniki Stadium may provide nostalgia for Russia’s football team, but once they head inside, it’s going to be as different for them as for Saudi Arabia. Whether you think Russia may have a slight advantage during the first game, as they’ll be experiencing the support of thou-sands of their fans, it’s certainly going to be an exciting first match ahead.