Date: 16th June’2018
Fifa World Cup Team analytics for Group D, in which opens play on Saturday with Argentina vs. Iceland at Spartak Stadium-Moscow.
Argentina will play against Iceland in their opening game at the tournament. In my opinion there is not too much to talk because Argentina should win this game easily. They are led by Leo Messi, one of the best players in the world.
Argentina will have no easy opponent in the likes of Iceland in their opening game of the tournament. The smallest nation to have qualified for the competition continued to live the fairy-tale after making it to the quarter-final of the EURO 2016 in France but Argentina have better players and there is no doubt that they will win this game.
Messi’s strength and endurance will be tested by what is sure to be tight marking and physical (likely excessive) challenges. Knock Messi off his game (if that is such a thing), and knock down Argentina. That’s the theory, anyway. He might have other ideas.
Twenty years ago, in their first World Cup as an independent nation, the Croatians finished third. Since then, they’ve been a bust, winning two matches in nine attempts during three group-stage exits. The midfield and front-line personnel is individually stellar:
Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Nikola Kalinic (AC Milan) and Mario Mandzukic (Juventus).
Nothing was easy for Argentina in their tortuous route to Russia 2018. Thanks to their unstoppable captain Lionel Messi, however, the 2014 finalists pulled through and will be in the running for the World Cup.
The Albiceleste went through no less than three coaches over the course of qualifying. Both Gerardo Martino and Edgardo Bauza stepped down during South America’s gruelling two-year campaign, before Jorge Sampaoli eventually led them through on the very last day of the competition.
It was Messi, of course, who made the difference, and the Barcelona wizard is the emblem of an attack that oozes talent.
GOALKEEPERS: Willy Caballero (Chelsea), Franco Armani (River Plate), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres).
DEFENDERS: Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Federico Fazio (Roma), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Nicolas Taglafico (Ajax), Javier Mascherano (Hebei Fortune), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon), Cristian Ansaldi (Torino).
MIDFIELDERS: Ever Banega (Sevilla), Lucas Biglia (AC Milan), Angel Di María, Giovani Lo Celso (both Paris St-Germain), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham), Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica).
FORWARDS: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala (both Juventus), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City).
Head coach:Jorge Sampaoli
They are by far the smallest nation ever to qualify and – at a mere 339,000 – the first with a population under a million. The team were a bit rusty at first, following an amazing run at their first major tournament at Euro 2016, where they were unbeaten until losing in the quarter-finals to hosts France. The players grew in strength and, against all odds, won seven of their 10 games, including all of their home games.
Led by HeimirHallgrimsson – who assumed sole charge of the team after Lars Lagerback parted ways post their Euro 2016 exit, Iceland finished atop their qualification group with seven wins and only two losses in 10 games. However, their recent form has been patchy at best for ‘Strákarnirokkar’ (Our Boys). Since wrapping up their World Cup qualification campaign with a 2-0 win over Kosovo in October 2017, Iceland have won only one international fixture in almost eight months.
That win was against 160-ranked Indonesia (4-1) in January. That aside, Iceland have suffered reverses at the hands of the Czech Republic, Mexico, Peru and Norway leading up to the World Cup, not encouraging signs for Hallgrimsson’s men. In their latest friendly against Lagerback’s Norway, ‘Strákarnirokkar’ let a 2-1 lead slip in the final 10 minutes to succumb to a 3-2 defeat.
Goalkeepers: Hannes Thor Halldorsson (Randers FC), Runar Alex Runarsson (FC Nordsjælland), Frederik Schram (FC Roskilde)
Defenders: Kari Arnason (Aberdeen), Ari Freyr Skulason (K.S.C. Lokeren Oost-Vlaanderen), Birkir Mar Saevarsson (Hammarby), Sverrir Ingi Ingason (FC Rostov)
Midfielders: Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Burnley), Birkir Bjarnason (Aston Villa), Arnor Ingvi Traustason (Malmo FF), Emil Hallfredsson (Udinese), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton), Olafur Ingi Skulason (Kardemir Karabukspor), Rurik Gislason (FC Nurnberg), Samuel Fridjonsson (Valerenga), Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City)
Forwards: Alfred Finnbogason (FC Augsburg), Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson (FC Rostov), Jon Dadi Bodvarsson (Reading), Albert Gudmundsson (PSV Eindhoven)
Head Coach :Heimir Hallgrímsson, who was the joint-manager at Euro 2016 alongside Lars Lagerbäck, and is now the top man on the island. And works as a dentist.
Head to Head Status
Stats Argentina Iceland
FIFA Rank[on 21 April 2018] 5 22No previous head to head meeting has been recorded between these two teams so far as both teams never played against each other. As both teams are from different confederations, the teams never met each other before. The first-ever meeting will be held in the FIFA World Cup 2018 on 16 June. It will be a group stage game of the competition.
Final Winner: As our analysis winner will be Argentina