Argentina v Iceland Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
June 12, 2018
Otkritie Sadium - World Cup Group D
World Cup finalists from 2014 Argentina, face tournament first timers Iceland in their opening World Cup game in Russia in Group D.
Argentina have never faced Iceland before in competitive action, but they have won two out of their last three games against European opposition.
Argentina will be without West Ham striker Manuel Lanzini, who suffered a knee injury in their warm up game against Haiti, and manager Jorge Sampaoli will wait until the last minute to decide who his replacement will be.
Skipper Lionel Messi is expected to be partnered by Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero in attack, with Nicolas Otamendi and Marcos Rojo in defence.
Iceland have their own talisman fit, as Gylfi Sigurdsson recovered from injury in time to make the trip to the World Cup, and they have other Premier League representation in Johann Berg Gudmunsson and captain Aron Gunnarsson in their ranks.
Argentina v Iceland Preview and Predictions
Iceland are making their first ever appearance on the world's biggest footballing stage, up against one of the established superpowers of the international game.
Buoyed by their exploits at Euro 2016, Iceland qualified as group winners, but they face a tough examination in their first game.
Argentina had their usual mid-qualification wobble, eventually finishing third in CONEMBOL, but following heir 2014 final loss to Germany, they look in determined mood.
Iceland will have a chance of getting into the last 16, but they are unlikely to avoid defeat against a very strong Argentina - who are priced at 2/7 to win their opening fixture.
Argentina's post qualification form has been mixed, beating Italy and Haiti, but losing to Nigeria 4-2 and Spain 6-1, giving some cause for defensive concerns.
However with their attacking options have available they should be in the mood for scoring goals, even if that means conceding at the other end, and an over 2.5 total goals bet comes in at 11/10.
Argentina to win 2-1 at 17/2
Sampaoli's side have a fantastic attack, but there are concerns over them defensively, and Iceland will look to profit from that instability. Despite Iceland being very solid at the back, they were not facing this quality of opposition, and this will be a big step up for them.
Lionel Messi to score first at 21/10
Messi heads into the tournament focused on achieving something with Argentina in Russia, after a double winning season at Barcelona. He also netted a hat trick in their only warm up game, against Haiti.