Today’s Predictions: Argentina Vs Iceland
Argentina 1 – 1 Iceland
South American giants Argentina kickoff their World Cup campaign against an unpredictable Iceland side, which shocked the world with an unbelievable late run at Euro 2016.
- Date : 16th June 2018
- Time : 6:30 PM (IST)
- Venue : Spartak Stadium, Moscow.
In the 6th match of the tournament, Lionel Messi will lead his side out against Iceland, who are facing several injury scares. While on paper there is no comparison between both these squads, Iceland do have the tendency to surprise the giants of the game and won’t be taken lightly at all.
FIFA World Cup Qualification
Argentina were in grave danger of not qualifying for the FIFA World Cup 2018, with unexpected defeats at home to Paraguay and Ecuador, and a crushing 3-0 defeat in Brazil. The ‘Albiceleste’ changed 3 different managers across the qualification phase, and their dependence on Messi was highlighted as they failed to win the games which his missed due to injury. It took a special performance from their best player in the final qualifier to secure a spot in the tournament, with Messi scoring a stunning hattrick against Ecuador.
Iceland had a relatively easier time during the qualifying phase. Grouped with Croatia and Turkey, their best hope before the qualifiers began was to secure a playoff spot. However, their players never lost hope and continued fighting till the penultimate match day, where a stunning 3-0 upset over Turkey ensured that they top their group.
Argentina have endured a mixed run of form in recent weeks. They have won 4 out of their last 6 matches, including an impressive 2-0 victory over Italy. However, they conceded 10 goals in two crushing defeats to Spain and Nigeria, making fans extremely worried about their fragile defense.
Iceland have been in poor form of late. Despite a healthy qualifying campaign where they topped their group, they have managed just 1 win in their last 6 matches, that too against Indonesia. Consecutive defeats against Mexico, Peru and Norway have put their World Cup credentials in doubt.
Head To Head Record
These two nations have never against played each other in a recognized match before.
Argentina pulled off one of the biggest surprises when it came to squad selection, when they left out Serie A’s top scorer Mauro Icardi, with rumours of a rift between the striker and Lionel Messi. However, Manuel Lanzini’s ACl tear has ensured that he will miss the World Cup, and Icardi might be selected to take his place. Apart from that, goalkeeper Sergio Romero has also been ruled out due to injury.
Iceland have a few injury troubles themselves. Star man Gylfi Sigurdsson has declared himself fit but is still coming back after a lengthy knee injury. Their star forward in the successful Euro 2016 campaign, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson has been ruled out as he has been struggling since September 2016. Their captain, Aron Gunnarsson is also a doubt with a minor knee injury.
Players To Watch Out For
Argentina have an abundance of attacking talent. So many world class players that it is difficult to mention just a few of them. Lionel Messi is the undisputed best player in the squad, and the team will revolve around him Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain are more than capable of sharing the goal scoring burden with him, while the young Paulo Dybala would like to announce himself on the big stage. The experienced Angel Di Maria is also one to watch as he can turn the game around single handedly.
Iceland have pretty much got the same squad which led them to an incredible run at Euro 2016. Their best player is Gylfi Siggurdson, one of the most talented midfielders in the Premier League, and he would again be looking to play a decisive part. Alfred Finnbogason is also a vital cog in their attack.
Argentina Vs Iceland Betting Odds And Key Statistics
- Argentina are the heavy favourites in this clash, and also in their group containing Nigeria and Croatia as well.
- Iceland are playing in their first ever FIFA World Cup, and their excellent showing at Euro 2016 where they beat England to reach the quarters, has made people stand up and notice them each time they turn out to play.
- With the attacking talent at Argentina’s disposal, combined with the injury troubles in the Icelandic squad, we recommend betting on the above 2.5 goals market.
- Lionel Messi to score a hat trick is a bet we highly recommend. Messi to score the first goal in this game is also an attractive bet.
Despite Iceland’s ‘Giant Killer’reputation, we expect Argentina to overpower them easily as Lionel Messi is a man on a mission, and his first objective would be to lead his team to the top of Group D.
Our Predicted Scoreline: Argentina 3 – 0 Iceland