World Cup 2018: Preview – Group D

2018 FIFA World Cup

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Let’s take a look at Group D which is debatably a competitive group and is known as the ‘Group of Death’ among other groups.

Read More: World Cup 2018: Preview – Group C

Teams

Iceland (FIFA Ranking – 22nd)

Appearing for the second time at an international tournament, first participation at a World Cup, they are in full force to take the tournament by surprise just like they did in the qualifiers.

First-time into the tournament, they will face new challenges and some high-flying opponents. However, with the goals scored during the qualification and Aron Gunnarsson’s (captain) presence will give the team a boost in confidence.

Nigeria (FIFA Ranking – 48th)

Having been in many tournaments before, the Super Eagles goes into their 6th World Cup tournament with the youngest squad. They have never made it into the last 16 and was eliminated by France in the last World Cup in Brazil.

World Cup 2018: Preview – Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria

Iceland, with its first entry into the World Cup as the smallest nation inspiring other fledgling teams, will face Croatia and…….

To overcome Argentina could be a tough challenge for them given that their defensive is weak. However, with a strong midfield and young attacking players can be a turnaround for the Nigerians.

Croatia (FIFA Ranking – 20th)

After their successful debut finishing third in their first World Cup, Croatians never made it pass the group stages thereafter. They have performed considerably well at the Euro 2016 beating Spain.

With a well-known central midfield prowess with Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, the team can drive to the top with consistency and the final game against Iceland could be the decider having failed to beat them in the qualification.

Argentina (FIFA Ranking – 5th)

As the runners up of the previous World Cup against Germany, where they displayed an intense battle, this tournament is a big one for the team with hopes of a glorious victory.

World Cup 2018: Preview – Argentina

Argentina, currently ranked 5th in the World will be making their 17th World Cup appearance and will once again have……..

With a bleak qualifying season where they barely even made it to the tournament, the team needs to push hard without depending on Lionel Messi as the team is criticized for. Nevertheless, with some good attacking options, Argentina can make it pass the group level.

Fixtures

16th June – Argentina vs Iceland – 18:30 local time – Otkritie Arena, Moscow
17th June – Croatia vs Nigeria – 00:30 local time – Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad
21st June – Argentina vs Croatia – 23:30 local time – Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod
22nd June – Nigeria vs Iceland – 20:30 local time – Volgograd Arena, Volgograd
26th June – Nigeria vs Argentina – 23:30 local time – Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg
26th June – Iceland vs Croatia – 23:30 local time – Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don

Key Fixtures

16th June – Argentina vs Iceland – 18:30 local time – Otkritie Arena, Moscow

The first match from Group D is important as both teams will face each other for the first time. For Iceland, facing the front-runners of football Argentina, will be a chance to pluck up courage to go forward in this major tournament.

21st June – Argentina vs Croatia – 23:30 local time – Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod

This will be a highly anticipated match as the two sides stand strong and experienced in Group D with some highly talented players, as long as they put up a club-form performance, keep the tabs on this match.

The two teams met once before in the World Cup back in 1998, where the group H clash was won by Argentina 1-0.

26th June – Nigeria vs Argentina – 23:30 local time – Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg

Another key game for both Nigeria and Argentina where the result on the final group stage day could decide, out of the four teams, who would go into the knockout stage.

FIFA World Cup Schedule in Sri Lankan time

Below you can find the complete schedule of the upcoming FIFA World Cup Russia, which is scheduled to kick-off on the 14th……

However, Nigeria have met Argentina four times in the World Cup, all in group stage, and haven’t been able to register a win in any of those. The closest they came was in 2014 losing 3-2 in group F. In 2010, 2002 & 1994 Argentina won 1-0, 1-0 & 2-1 respectively.   

Predictions

The team with the highest possibility to get pass the group stage is Argentina. The teams who will be contending for the second spot could be Nigeria and Croatia with Iceland, perhaps the dark horses of the tournament ruling out the rest.

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