Group D: Argentina Vs Iceland
As the FIFA World Cup 2018 kicked off in Moscow on 14th June, the competition got heated up from the first match with the hosts Russia beating Saudi Arabia 5-0. Tonight, Group D consisting of Argentina (the runner-ups), Croatia, Nigeria and Iceland is all set to start off the league matches with Argentina vs Iceland on the charts.
The Argentina Vs Iceland will be played at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow followed by Croatia vs Nigeria at the Kaliningrad Stadium just after. As per expert predictions, Croatia and Argentina are expected to get through to the next stages of the tournament.
The Argentinians ended their 2014 World Cup campaign by losing the final to Germany 1-0 in Extra-time. But the South Americans will be hoping for to get their fortunes this year beginning with tonight’s Argentina Vs Iceland.
The La Albiceleste, without are one of the contenders to win the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. And why not, when you have a player of Lionel Messi’s calibre in the squad. Moreover, Argentina has got a lot of talented players in their squad with most players playing for some of the best European clubs. Argentina boast off a front-line consisting of Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel di Maria and many more.
Argentina’s star striker Gonzalo Higuain, who faced criticism for losses against Germany and Chile in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Copa America Final 2015 is on fire this season and is expected to put up a determined effort for Argentina’s success in the tournament. Paulo Dybala is another young player from Argentina who is a perfect dribbler is expected to have a lot of potential but hasn’t yet performed outstanding in international career.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
The Barcelona forward needs no introduction. The Argentina forward has been sensational for his country scoring 64 goals in 124 appearances for his country making him the all-tome top scorer for Argentina.
Moreover, the Argentina team’s dream of taking home the 2018 FIFA World Cup lies on Messi’s shoulders who has been one of the greatest players in football history and will get no better chance than this for bagging the World Cup for his Country.
Messi stands as the most critical player for Argentina to win the FIFA World Cup 2018 starting with tonight’s Argentina Vs Iceland.
Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City)
The Manchester City defender definitely stands as one of most important players in the Argentina squad in the biggest tournament of football. The City defender in riding high on confidence after winning the Premier League title with his club this season.
Otamendi will be the holding piece in Argentina’s back-line especially after their number one goal-keeper Sergio Romero got injured. Nicolas Otamendi will have to be rock solid and ever-present in the defense line for Argentina and manager Jorge Sampaoli will be hoping for a repetition of the performance he gave for Manchester City.
The Iceland team attained global attention with the unexpected appearance in the Quarter finals of Euro 16 and the dream run included a win against England in the Round of 16. It is the second major tournament that they have qualified for and are currently ranked 22nd in the world and much would be anticipated off them.
The squad for Iceland, the smallest nation to qualify for World Cup also seems fully prepared and fit as stated by coach Heimir Hallgrimsson for the big show in their first ever World Cup game tonight i.e. Argentina Vs Iceland, what he described as ‘biggest in the history of Iceland’.
Iceland manager Heimir Hallgrimsson said his entire squad is fit to play in Saturday's World Cup opener against Argentina, which he declared "the biggest game in the history of Iceland." One question facing Iceland is if they can improve on the quarterfinal finish at Euro 2016. pic.twitter.com/JDMrX9X3y8
— WegENT (@WegrynENT) June 15, 2018
However, Iceland may have the slightest chances to disappoint them with the valuable English League experiences of attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson and captain Aron Gunnarsson, who are both ready to face Lionel Messi’s Argentina in the Group D clash. The Iceland team is backed by midfielder Bikir Bijarnason and impressively skilled Johann Berg Gudmundsson.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton)
The Everton midfielder has pretty good experiences of playing against some of Europe’s best teams and the experience will come in handy for tonight’s Argentina Vs Iceland clash.
Sigurdsson signed for Everton on a club record fee of £40m and plays as an attacking midfielder.
Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City)
The Iceland player can play as a central midfielder as well as a defensive midfielder. He helped Cardiff City gain promotion to the Premier League this season.
With all of these players involved in the match, it is expected to be a thriller. And not to forget the little magician Messi, who is obviously anticipated for exhibiting extraordinary performance.
So the audience is all set for experiencing the electrifying World Cup Group D kick off collision. Nigeria and Croatia are the other two teams in the group who will also begin their campaign tonight just after Argentina Vs Iceland match.
Fans who are otherwise neutral are likely expected to be supporting Iceland, which has the ingredients for becoming the underdog darling of the World Cup with the fan famous “thunderclap”.
Our prediction is tilted towards Argentina winning the tie by a 3-1 margin.