World Cup – Nigeria-Iceland

We are heading to the Volgograd Arena in the city of Volgograd, where Nigeria and Iceland will meet in a very important clash from Group D of the FIFA World Cup in Russia. Let’s have a look, shall we?

Both teams are in a pretty much a similar situation in Group D. Nigeria are without a point after the 0-2 loss against Croatia, while Iceland are with one point after the 1-1 draw with Argentina. After Argentina’s loss against Croatia on Thursday night, one of these two teams can put itself in a pole position for the second place in the group. A win here could be absolutely decisive for Nigeria or Iceland.

Nigeria didn’t start the World Cup as they probably wanted, losing against Croatia in their opening game. Croatia are arguably the strongest team in this group, so Nigeria are not to blame here. Against Iceland and the shaky Argentina the Super Eagles can fight for their qualification to the 1/8-finals. But to have their chance, they must win at least one of these two games.

For most of the people maybe Iceland are favourites here, but the Vikings’ manager Heimir Hallgrimsson was quick to cool his players’ heads. He labeled Nigeria as a dangerous team, which have nothing to lose in the next game. And he’s right. African teams are always ready to cause an upset or make a surprise. Just like every other African team, Nigeria have a lot of physicality in their team and they are ready to use their energy to make a statement.

In the same time Nigeria know that if they lose, they are going to leave the World Cup. And they are going to be the third African team to do it after Morocco and Egypt. The team’s head coach Gernot Rohr promised that the Super Eagles won’t lose this game.

There are some problems in Iceland’s team before the match. The manager Hallgrimsson confirmed that the winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson is still injured and maybe he won’t start the game. There’s a bigger chance to see Gudmundsson on the bench than in play against Nigeria.

Meanwhile it’s highly expected that we are going to see Leicester City’s Ahmed Musa in Nigeria’s starting eleven. Musa was benched against Croatia, coming off the bench in this game. But now some pundits expect to see Musa in the starting eleven against the Vikings. For sure this will make Nigeria a little bit more dangerous in attack. Musa is a very strong forward, who can trouble Iceland’s defense. He’s used to playing on high level, so it won’t be a problem for him to enter the pitch and show what he can do.

Our conclusion about the match between Nigeria and Iceland is that we shall expect a competitive game between two teams with pretty similar quality. The match is very important for both teams, because both of them still have a chance to follow Croatia to the 1/8-finals. And you can be sure that they want to do it.