Here comes Group D where chances of Argentina are quite bright to dominate the table, Lionel Messi is in a good touch to knock their opponents, definitely five times Ballon d’Or Winners has the ability to do magic in FIFA World Cup 2018 just like this mate Christiano Ronaldo who did his 51st career-best Hat-trick against Spain where Portugal saved their precious point and stands at the second spot.
Runners-up at the 2014 edition in Brazil, Argentina could not have produced a less convincing passage through qualification for this summer’s tournament in Russia.
Stumbling throughout much of the South American qualifying section, Sampaoli’s side found themselves on the brink of missing out on reaching the World Cup for the first time since 1970 when they went behind against Ecuador in their final qualification contest.
Thankfully, and as one would often come to expect, Lionel Messi produced the goods at testing altitude as the Barcelona star bagged a hat-trick to see Argentina come from behind to win 3-1 and claim a spot in Russia right at the death.
Messi’s heroics effectively proved one of few moments of quality throughout a testing qualification process that saw Argentina score just 19 times in 18 games.
Sampaoli’s reliance on Messi was perhaps highlighted in two problematic friendly losses when they were beaten 4-2 by Nigeria during a friendly in November 2017, while back in March of this year La Albiceleste were hammered 6-1 by Spain in Madrid, with the Barcelona forward sitting out both games.
Qualification woes aside, Argentina will be looking to Sampaoli to now deliver when it matters most at tournament level. The 58-year-old coach has already proven to be effective when guiding Chile past Argentina on penalties in the Copa America in 2017.
The two-time winners of the World Cup head to Russia knowing that the pressure is on to top a group that also includes Croatia and Nigeria alongside Iceland. The draw has been fairly kind to La Albiceleste and should they top the group they will also likely land another favourable contest against Peru in the last 16.
Argentina’s preparations for the tournament ended with a frustrating hiccup when a friendly against Israel was cancelled for political reasons, leaving Sampaoli and company heading into a potentially testing encounter against Iceland having played just one friendly game against Haiti since losing to Spain back in March.
Saturday afternoon will prove a watershed moment in the history of Icelandic football, as the country makes its debut at the World Cup.
Iceland are the smallest nation by populous to reach the tournament and will be hoping to build from a remarkable Euro 2016 campaign that saw Lars Lagerback and Hallgrimsson’s charges eliminate England at the tournament in France.
The road to the World Cup provided Iceland with a challenging route as they had to take on the likes of fellow Group D rivals Croatia, as well as Ukraine and Turkey, but Hallgrimsson’s charges eventually made it over the line by finishing top of the group by two points.
During that process Iceland put together seven victories across 10 games in order to edge beyond Croatia into the only automatic qualification berth in the group. Outings against the Vatreni saw Iceland both win and lose against Croatia in qualifying for Russia.
The country’s preparations since qualification have been less encouraging, however, given that Iceland have not been able to find themselves a victory in a range of six varying friendlies – some FIFA-sanctioned, some not – since booking a place on the plane.
This year Iceland have lost to Mexico, Peru and Norway and blew a two-goal lead against Ghana in Reykjavik to draw 2-2 against James Kwesi Appiah’s men.
Hallgrimsson now finds himself in sole control following the departure of Lagerback and the coach will likely be relying on the experiences of both Aron Gunnarsson and Gylfi Sigurdsson when competing in a group that could provide Strakarnir okkar with an outside chance of reaching the knockouts.
It has taken Iceland 13 attempts to qualify for the World Cup and the group-stage draw has been fairly kind to Hallgrimsson’s men. Securing a positive point against an underperforming Argentina would setup Iceland intriguingly for more winnable battles against Croatia and Nigeria.
|Wilfredo Caballero (Chelsea)||Hannes Halldorsson (Randers)|
|Franco Armani (River Plate)||Runar Runarsson (Nordsjaelland)|
|Nahuel Guzman (Tigres)||Frederik Schram (Roskilde)|
|Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla)||Kari Arnason (Aberdeen)|
|Cristian Ansaldi (Torino)||Holmar Eyjolfsson (Levski Sofia)|
|Eduardo Salvio (Benfica)||Rurik Gislason (Sandhausen)|
|Javier Mascherano (Hebei China Fortune)||Sverrir Ingason (Rostov)|
|Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City)||Hordur Magnusson (Bristol City)|
|Federica Fazio (Roma)||Birkir Saevarsson (Valur)|
|Marcos Rojo (Manchester United)||Ragnar Sigurdsson (Rostov)|
|Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax)||Ari Skulason (Lokeren)|
|Marcos Acuna (Sporting CP)|
|Enzo Perez (River Plate)||Birkir Bjarnason (Aston Villa)|
|Maximiliano Meza (Independiente)||Samuel Fridjonsson (Valerenga)|
|Lucas Biglia (Milan)||Johann Gudmundsson (Burnley)|
|Ever Banega (Sevilla)||Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City)|
|Giovani Lo Celso (Paris Saint-Germain)||Emil Hallfredsson (Udinese)|
|Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain)||Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton)|
|Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors)||Olafur Skulason (Karabukspor)|
|Arnor Traustason (Malmo)|
|Paulo Dybala (Juventus)||Jon Bodvarsson (Reading)|
|Lionel Messi (Barcelona)||Alfred Finnbogason (Augsburg)|
|Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)||Albert Gudmundsson (PSV)|
|Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus)||Bjorn Sigurdarson (Rostov)|
Argentina vs Iceland USA, UK, Pak and Indian Time of FIFA World Cup 2018
According to Standard Time, France vs Australia match will start at 14:00 PM UK, 18:00 PM Pakistan, 16:00 PM Russia 18:30 PM India and 9:00 AM USA sharp. We would love to see Messi in action and hopefully, he would do a better job in his first game.
|Competition||FIFA World Cup 2018|
|Date||16 June 2018|
|Time||14:00 PM UK, 18:00 PM Pakistan, 16:00 PM Russia 18:30 PM India and 9:00 AM USA|
|Venue||Spartak Stadium Moscow|
Track Record of Both Teams – Win, lose:
Argentina vs Iceland Match Predictions:
Predictions: Argentina-4 vs Iceland-1
As per our assumption, Argentina will win the match and we also expect that Messi will again do a Hat-trick in this match. It would be an amazing one if you really want to enjoy the live match, Messi in action.