One of the World Cup favourites get their campaign underway on Saturday, as Argentina take on Iceland at the Otkrytie Arena. La Albiceleste are looking to get their campaign off to a strong start, but their opponents were excellent in their last tournament outing.
Where and when: Otkrytie Arena – 16 June, kick-off 14:00
Where you can see Argentina vs. Iceland: ITV
Last time: We’re breaking new ground this weekend, as this is the first time that Argentina and Iceland will meet each other.
|Argentina to win to nil||9/100/0||Offer|
|Messi to score first||9/40/0||Offer|
|Sigurdsson to score anytime||15/2||Offer|
Argentina v Iceland Predictions and Preview
After their impressive performance at Euro 2016, plenty is expected of Iceland at the World Cup. However, it’s hard to see their Russian odyssey starting with anything other than a defeat, as they meet one of the tournament faruvrites, Argentina.
The Albiceleste squad is packed with household names, and an embarrassment of riches going forward. From Lionel Messi to Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Paolo Dybala, Argentina have an attack capable of scoring against any defence.
If there’s a weakness in Jorge Sampaoli’s side though, it’s their own back-line. They can be vulnerable at the back, while their three goalkeepers – who are all aged over 30 – have just nine caps between them.
That doesn’t stop them starting as huge faruvrites in the betting though, and Argentina are priced at 1/3 for the win. Iceland meanwhile are out at 14/1 to cause a major upset in a group that also contains Croatia and Nigeria.
Heimir Hallgrimsson has a hardworking team who are full of passion, and they’re led by Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson. Their star man has recently recovered from injury, making a scoring return to the national side earlier this month against Norway.
Iceland will need Sigurdsson to be fit and firing if they’re going to have any chance on Saturday, but if their talisman does prove to be an inspiration then the draw might come into play at 4/1. Then again, it probably won’t, with an Argentina win to nil looking much more likely at 9/10.
One to watch for Argentina: Messi is always the centre of attention for club and country. This is likely to be his last World Cup – at his current level at least – and he’s 9/4 to open the scoring in this one.
One to watch for Iceland: Sigurdsson is the leader of this Iceland side, who will look to his experience for inspiration. The Everton man is 15/2 to score anytime.
Long shot: If Iceland can pull off a major shock, it’s likely to be a narrow victory based on hard work and containing Argentina. They are 22/1 to win 1-0, or 40/1 to win 2-1.