Who do you think will win the opener of the 2018 World Cup?
According to Achilles the cat, it’s Russia.
The home team will play Saudi Arabia on Thursday in Moscow.
Achilles was offered two bowls of food, one next to Russia’s flag and the other next to Saudi Arabia’s.
He was placed on a table, and deliberated before eating the one by Russia’s flag. Officials say the cat is deaf, therefore he wouldn’t be swayed by people calling out to him.
“He’s absolutely unbiased. He’s deaf to any comments from the fans so he probably feels with his heart and a special cat sense,” Anna Kondratyeva said, according to Euronews.
They didn’t comment on whether the colours of the flag could affect the cat.
As well as Russia’s first match, Achilles will make predictions for all games played in St. Petersburg.
“He will make his predictions the morning of the game. For breakfast, we’ll put two identical bowls in front of him with cat food and a little flag of the countries playing,” Kondratyeva said.
He also predicted match winners during the 2017 Confederations Cup — and was correct every time.
While he normally lives in St. Petersburg at the Hermitage museum, he will reportedly move to a nearby cat cafe to be able to greet more guests, Buzz Sports reports.
Achilles isn’t the first psychic animal. Paul the octopus in Germany accurately chose the winners of each match he predicted in the 2010 World Cup.
Just last year, the Toronto Zoo’s panda named Da Mao made a pick for the 2017 Grey Cup. He picked the Calgary Stampeders over the Toronto Argonauts to win — thought he got it wrong. The Argos won 27-24 in Ottawa last November.
READ MORE: Toronto Zoo panda predicts Grey Cup winner
Russia is considered one of the weakest sides in the tournament, so Achilles has made the long-shot prediction.
The World Cup will be played at venues across Russia until the final on July 15.
*with files from Reuters
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