World Cup 2018 Predictions Group D – Iceland
Iceland enter this summer’s upcoming tournament as one of the few World Cup debutants aiming to impress in Russia. Just how much can Heimir Hallgrimsson’s team expect to achieve after producing a series of fine displays last time out at Euro 2016?
Will Iceland qualify from Group D?
Most seemingly envisage a rather tough start to life upon the global stage for Iceland. Group D would likely prove a noticeably difficult set of fixtures for most teams to contend with this summer, especially for a side with as little World Cup experience as Iceland.
But as we saw back in Euro 2016, this is an outfit that cannot be written off without due consideration. If Iceland can continue to keep things tight at the back and maintain their notoriously strong work ethic throughout the duration of the tournament, Hallgrimsson’s team are likely to exceed expectations in their entirety.
Who will be Iceland’s star man at the World Cup?
Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson will likely prove Iceland’s most recognised asset when the 2018 World Cup finally gets underway. Yet Iceland are a team built up of numerous determined players who each run their socks off for one another, and no one embodies their spirit more than Aron Gunnarsson.
The current Cardiff City midfielder shone brightly for his nation whilst operating at Euro 2016. Gunnarsson is both a strong captain and an effective player, with the required leadership skills to keep Iceland’s head above water.
He may not arrive as the most technically gifted player we are likely to see at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but on the back of his previous endeavour and Viking-like enthusiasm, this is one player who is unlikely to disappoint the travelling Iceland fans this summer.
Whilst both Birkir Bjarnason and Kolbeinn Sigþórsson could well serve to impress among their opening Group D encounters, Aron Gunnarsson arguably remains the pick of the bunch for Iceland.
What are Iceland’s Group D fixtures?
Argentina – Obviously, little is expected of the Icelanders when they eventually turn out against the first of their Group D opposition. Although Iceland have every reason to remain confident in their all-round team-play, Argentina will surely prove too strong for Hallgrimsson’s plucky side in the cold light of day.
Nigeria – This could prove Iceland’s most significant test throughout their upcoming group-stage duties. Nigeria have vast amounts of tournament experience to draw upon this summer, but if Iceland can stick to plan and force the opposition to make mistakes on the break, a resounding win could well await the proud Icelanders against Nigeria.
Croatia – Whilst Croatia arguably play host to a far more superior outfit on paper, Iceland’s impressive cohesion and overall balance could help them shave this particular fixture with just a little bit of luck on their side. Croatia nonetheless remain a tough test for any nation to come up against this summer.
Iceland’s World Cup Predictions
Iceland could well turn out to be surprise dark horses at the upcoming 2018 World Cup. Although nobody is predicting them to go all the way and win the entire competition, Hallgrimsson’s side could represent a shrewd bet to make it to the latter stages of the competition in place of several supposedly superior outfits.
If this team are to wholeheartedly succeed in Russia, Iceland must be able to maintain the resoundingly strong form that saw them do so well at Euro 2016 last time out. Anything less could possibly see them fall flat on their faces and finish bottom of Group D this summer.
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