Nigeria v Iceland Predictions, odds and key players
Nigeria v Iceland – Iceland come into this fixture as slight favourites at 8/5 while a Nigeria win is betting at 15/8.
Nigeria will have to avoid defeat but preferably win against Iceland to prevent an early elimination with a draw currently standing at 2/1.
The other teams in Group D, Argentina and Croatia, meet in what is likely to be a crucial top-spot play off.
The Eagles were comfortably beaten by Croatia in their opening match whilst Iceland heroically held on to a draw against Argentina. Part-time film director and Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson was the hero when he saved Lionel Messi’s spot-kick to keep the game tied.
Nigeria’s age-old weakness at set-pieces – Gylfi Sigurdsson to score and Iceland to win was 9/2 but now bets at 5/1.
Nigeria, who boast the youngest squad in the tournament, have a very specific weakness on set-pieces that Iceland could look to exploit. Of the 27 goals Nigeria have conceded since arriving on the world stage in 1994, 15 of them have been set-pieces – the worst percentage (52%) amongst any nation in that period.
Iceland are a notoriously set-piece orientated side, placing strong emphasis on marking and organisation at corners and free-kicks.
“This is a must-win game for Nigeria, and that makes it a little bit psychologically different, they have to win,” Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson told reporters.
“This group is going to be decided in the last minutes, in the last game. It’s going to be down to some margins, a set piece, a goal in extra time. This is how this group is going to be played.”
Nigeria vs Iceland – Latest odds
History is not kind to Iceland – Odion Igahlo to score and Nigeria to win was 7/2 but now stands at 4/1.
Nigeria will take solace in the fact that all five of their victories at the World Cup have come against European sides. Iceland are World Cup debutants – and the last side to avoid defeat in their first two opening matches at the World Cup was Senegal back in 2002.
Iceland also failed to record a shot on target for the entirety of the second half against Argentina.
Chelsea full-back and Nigeria winger Victor Moses said: ‘’For me, the game with Iceland is going to be more difficult than the game against Argentina.’’
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Article written by Anis Bazza
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