Nigeria v Iceland Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
June 18, 2018
Volgograd Arena - World Cup Group D
Having earned a shock draw against Argentina, Iceland look to continue their run against Nigeria, who sit bottom of Group D. The Super Eagles struggled against Croatia, but have the quality in their side to create problems for their opponents.
The two sides have never met in international football, unsurprising given that this is Iceland's first foray into World Cup football.
Neither managers are likely to make significant changes to their sides, with neither able to boast a particularly deep talent pool. As a result, despite poor performances on Saturday, Gernot Rohr, is likely to stick with Obi Mikel and Victor Moses, with Arsenal's Alex Iwobi the only potential casualty.
Heimir Hallgrimsson's side rely heavily on their organisation and fitness, meaning that the Iceland coach has little need to rotate at this point. He will, however, have to do without Berg Gudmundsson after coming off injured against Argentina meaning that Rúrik Gíslason should start out wide.
Nigeria v Iceland Preview and Predictions
Following their 2-0 defeat to Croatia, Nigeria boss, Rohr, insisted that the loss was due to a series of mistakes, rather than a lack of ability. Regardless of his reasoning, the Eagles are in desperate need of a win on Friday if they are to stand any chance of qualifying for the knock-out stages.
However, their opponents, Iceland have proved themselves, yet again, as the defensive maestros of international football, having shut out Lionel Messi's Argentina. Heimir Hallgrimsson has created a team in the model of Atletico Madrid that appear as delighted in the defensive side of the game as the more glamorous attacking. This, combined with the creative instincts of Gylfi Siggurdsson and bags of pace on the flanks make Strákarnir okkar a frightening proposal for a side that needs a win.
The two managers have polar opposite approaches to tactics, with Nigeria proving the antithesis to Iceland's rigid structure. As Javier Mascherano pointed out in the build up to the competition, this disorganisation is exactly what makes the Super Eagles so dangerous, as it is difficult to prepare against an a-traditionally set-up side. This could well prove for an interesting battle on Friday, as well as a test for Hallgrimsson's ability to predict his opponents.
Under 2.5 goals at 8/15
Iceland love a shut out, although will need a win at some point to progress.
Alfred Finnbogason to score first at 6/1
Having notched against Argentina, Finnbogason will be keen to add to his tally.