Argentina vs Iceland prediction: Argentina 2-0 Iceland
There’s been a lot of distraction off the field for Argentina, whose fans will demand nothing less than all three points on Saturday.
On paper, Argentina should have this one in the bag, although their form of late has been questionable.
Argentina vs Iceland: Who will win?
Argentina look nailed on to win this one with odds of 1/3.
A shock Iceland win comes in at 11/1 while the draw is offered at 17/4.
Lionel Messi to score the opening goal of the game is 21/10.
Argentina vs Iceland match preview
Argentina and Iceland get Group D proceedings underway when they face off at the Otkritie Arena on Saturday. The match will be the first time these two sides have faced each other.
On the face of it, Argentina’s preparations for the World Cup has been far from adequate. Warm-up matches against Nicaragua and Israel were both cancelled, leaving their 4-0 win over Haiti as their only pre-World Cup test.
Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick, with Sergio Aguero grabbing the other against Haiti.
Earlier in the year, Argentina were hammered 6-1 by Spain.
Although there can be little doubt that Lionel Messi is one of the greatest footballers of all time, his lack of trophies with the national team casts a shadow over his career.
Argentina have finished as runners-up in three of the past four editions of the Copa America, as well as in the 2014 World Cup. Despite Germany lifting the trophy, Messi won the tournament’s best player award.
It would come as a surprise if Argentina were to make this year’s final, but with Lionel Messi in their ranks, it is certainly possible.
Can Iceland do it again?
Iceland, a country whose population is little over 350,000, defied the odds to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, beating England along the way.
Fans of the European nation proved to be just as inspiring, with the now-famous ‘Iceland clap’ winning the hearts of millions across the globe.
Iceland continued to ride the wave of success from their Euro 2016 campaign by finishing as group winners in their World Cup qualifying group, above the likes of Croatia, Ukraine and Turkey.
This will be Iceland’s first ever appearance at a World Cup finals.
Iceland recent form has been less inspiring, with their last win coming five games ago against Indonesia. More recently, Heimir Hallgrimsson’s side were beaten 3-2 by Norway before being held to a 2-2 draw by Ghana. Alfred Finnbogason scored in both matches.
Croatia and Nigeria play each other in the other Group D match on Saturday evening.
Argentina team news vs Iceland
Such is the depth of Argentina’s attack, the likes of Mauro Icardi and Angel Correa could not make the squad.
Even Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala may have to settle for a place on the bench, with Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero certain to start this one.
Willy Caballero is set to start in goal following a late injury that ruled Sergio Romero out of the competition. Manuel Lanzini was another late casualty after suffering a knee injury.
Maximiliano Meza could replace the West Ham winger in the starting eleven, while Cristian Pavon provides another alternative.
Iceland team news vs Argentina
Iceland’s squad is similar to that which performed so well in 2016.
Star-man Gylfi Sigurdsson is available but has played hardly any football in the last three months.
Argentina predicted line-up vs Iceland
Iceland predicted line-up vs ArgentinaFor more World Cup betting tips click here.
All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.
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The latest videos from Argentina
— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) June 13, 2018
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The latest videos from Iceland
days until we play at the @FIFAWorldCup
— Knattspyrnusambandið (@footballiceland) June 14, 2018
Aron Gunnarsson recalls the moment @footballiceland qualified for the World Cup.
Check out his full story on @acast.
— The Players’ Tribune (@PlayersTribune) June 14, 2018