Argentina vs Iceland Predictions, Odds and Betting Tips

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16th June 2018 – 9:00 ET
Group D
Stadium: Otkrytie Arena
TV: TSN

Argentina reached the final of the 2014 World Cup and Jorge Sampaoli’s side will be hoping to go one better in Russia. They are regulars in this competition and have been victorious on two occasions. They have been drawn in Group D alongside Nigeria, Croatia and Iceland and will start against the latter. Lionel Messi netted four times in Brazil and it was his goals which helped secure their place at this tournament.

La Albiceleste were underwhelming during their qualifying campaign and almost missed out on the automatic spots. They did only concede 16 times in 18 games but it was in the final third where they lacked bite, scoring just 19 times.

It’s Iceland’s first ever World Cup and many are considering them underdogs in Group D. They reached the quarter-finals at Euro 2016 following a remarkable run of form which saw them knock England out of the competition. They are now solely managed by Heimir Hallgrimsson following the departure of Lars Lagerback and even though their friendly results have been underwhelming, they are likely to be fired up for their first-ever appearance at this tournament.

These two sides have never previously faced one another and both will be hoping to get off to the best possible start. Argentina will be expected to reach the knock-out stage of the competition and all eyes will be on Lionel Messi. Serie A duo Mauro Icardi and Gonzalo Higuain are also expected to play a significant part for Jorge Sampaoli’s side.

Iceland have a number of players who are competing in the top leagues around Europe with Aron Gunnarsson recently promoted to the Premier League with Cardiff City.

 

Argentina vs Iceland Predictions

Argentina are expected to prevail in this opening fixture and with their star-studded squad, they should have too much for Iceland. They can be backed at 1.35 with Pinnacle.

888Sport are offering 3.20 for Argentina to win both halves and that provides a greater value selection for those backing La Albiceleste. The South American side will be hoping that Lionel Messi can find gaps in the Icelandic defence. He is also 3.20 to score the first goal of the game with 888Sport.

Whilst Argentina have an abundance of talent and are expected to hit the net regularly throughout the tournament, they may not find their shooting boots in this opening game.Intertops offer 1.60 on Under 2.5 Goals in this game and with Iceland hard to break down, it is unlikely to be a high-scoring affair.

This is potentially a tough game for Argentina and they will be pleased to come away with the points. A 2-0 success in this opening fixture is available at 5.00 with Intertops and is the most sensible option in the correct score market.

 

Statistics

  • Argentina won five of their seven World Cup matches in 2014, eventually finishing runners-up
  • Lionel Messi netted four times at the 2014 World Cup, the same amount of goals that Gonzalo Higuain netted in 2010
  • Lionel Messi to Finish as Top Tournament Goalscorer (10.00 with 888Sport)
  • Javier Mascherano is set to retire after the 2018 World Cup; he has played in the three previous tournaments and chalked up 16 appearances in this competition
  • 2006 was the last time that Argentina failed to progress beyond the group stage
  • Iceland had failed to qualify in 12 attempts prior to securing their place at the 2018 World Cup
  • They reached the play-offs ahead of the 2014 World Cup but were beaten by Croatia. The pair have been drawn in the same group in Russia

 

Lineups

Argentina: Nahuel Guzmán, Gabriel Mercado, Nicolás Tagliafico, Cristian Ansaldi, Lucas Biglia, Federico Fazio, Éver Banega, Marcos Acuña, Gonzalo Higuaín, Lionel Messi (captain), Ángel Di María, Franco Armani, Maximiliano Meza, Javier Mascherano, Manuel Lanzini, Marcos Rojo, Nicolás Otamendi, Eduardo Salvio, Sergio Agüero, Giovani Lo Celso, Paulo Dybala, Cristian Pavón, Willy Caballero.

Iceland: Hannes Þór Halldórsson, Birkir Már Sævarsson, Samúel Friðjónsson, Albert Guðmundsson, Sverrir Ingi Ingason, Ragnar Sigurðsson, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Björn Bergmann Sigurðarson, Gylfi Sigurðsson, Alfreð Finnbogason, Frederik Schram, Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson, Kári Árnason, Hólmar Örn Eyjólfsson, Ólafur Ingi Skúlason, Aron Gunnarsson (captain), Hörður Björgvin Magnússon, Rúrik Gíslason, Emil Hallfreðsson, Arnór Ingvi Traustason, Jón Daði Böðvarsson, Ari Freyr Skúlason.


About the Author

I have been working as a sports content writer for a number of years and specialise in football, tennis, darts and horse racing. I have written for a number of different betting sites, writing weekly match previews and picking out winning selections across a variety of events.




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