World Cup Preview – Group D | Iceland v Croatia – Nigeria v Argentina

Group D has a fascinating end in store, with Iceland, Nigeria and Argentina all hoping to join Croatia in the knockout phase.

Croatia have sealed qualification and all but top-spot, but they will have a major say in who goes through with them as they face Iceland.

Iceland need to win to progress, but that will not be enough if Nigeria triumph over Argentina.

Argentina can also go through with a win but also hope Iceland don’t win – as it would also then come down to goal-difference.

Argentina have been beset with off-field issues and the squad have been forced to deny they have asked for Jorge Sampaoli to be removed.

“The relationship with the coach is completely normal,” said Mascherano.

“Obviously, when we feel uncomfortable about something we speak with him, because if we did not, we would be hypocrites. We know the situation is tricky. We have to be united, to express our opinions, and to do everything possible, so the team goes into the game in the best position.”

Nigeria come into the game, confident they can win and seal their passage into the next round.

“We know we can do it, our confidence is coming back,” said coach Gernot Rohr.

Iceland boss Heimir Hallgrimsson remains hopeful that his side can progress and take victory against Croatia – who intend to rest players.

“We only need to beat Croatia. Which is possibly easier to say than do,” he said.

“They have had two really, really good performances in the World Cup. The last one was a shining example of how good Croatia is.”

See below for a preview on the games, including predictions from former England and Tottenham midfielder Andy Gray and our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey and bet365’s Steve Freeth.

Iceland 19:00 Croatia
Rostov Arena, Rostov
Live on BBC

Hannes Halldorsson; Birkir Saevarsson, Kari Arnason, Ragnar Sigurdson, Hordur Magnusson; Aron Gunnarsson, Emil Hallfredsson, Johann Gudmundsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Birkir Bjarnason; Alfred Finnbogason

Croatia: Lovre Kalinic; Tin Jedvaj, Vedran Corluka, Domagoj Vida, Josip Pivaric; Milan Badelj, Mateo Kovacic, Filip Bradaric; Marko Pjaca, Andrej Kramaric, Ivan Perisic

KEY FACT: Croatia could become the fourth team in the history of the World Cup to win all three of their group games without conceding a goal
Match odds from bet365: ICELAND 5/2 DRAW 12/5 CROATIA 5/4
bet365 Pick: Iceland to win @5/2
ANDY SAYS: Close game, and can see it ending in a draw…1-1
GRAEME SAYS: Depends what team Croatia pick, but I can see goals with Iceland edging it…2-1
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Luka Modric – a wonderful player, who still has real value in the Index

Nigeria 19:00 Argentina
St Petersburg Stadium, St Petersburg
Live on BBC

Nigeria: Francis Uzoho; Kenneth Omeruo, William Ekong, Leon Balogun; Tyronne Ebuehi, Wilfred Ndidi, John Obi Mikel, Oghenekaro Etebo, Victor Moses; Kelechi Iheanacho, Ahmed Musa

Argentina: Franco Armani; Eduardo Salvio, Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi, Nicolas Tagliafico; Ever Banega, Javier Mascherano, Enzo Perez, Angel Di Maria; Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain.

KEY FACT: Argentina have met Nigeria four times, winning on each occasion
Match odds from bet365: NIGERIA 11/2 DRAW 10/3 ARGENTINA 11/20
bet365 Pick: Nigeria to win @11/2
ANDY SAYS: I think Argentina bounce back to form with..0-3
GRAEME SAYS: I can see this playing out as a draw…1-1
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Lionel Messi – time for him to step up, but he could still be some value

Football INDEX is a stockmarket game where players, known as Traders, take a position on the “future success” of footballers with real money – CLICK HERE to play and start winning, and take advantage of your £20 cashback only with TheGamblingTimes.

Related Posts

This website is strictly for over 18’s. If you do have any concerns about gambling please contact GambleAware
© 2023 The Gambling Times. All rights reserved.