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Iceland fan shows his support during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Iceland and Croatia at Rostov Arena on June 26, 2018 in. Argentina's Lionel Messi looks on in their 2018 FIFA World Cup Group D match against Iceland at Spartak Stadium. The Whales of Iceland exhibition, open since 2014, features lifelike full-sized models of the whale species around Iceland, an interactive installation, VR and Audio Guide. Whales of Iceland uses cookies to give you the best experience when you visit our website, whalesoficeland.is.

Getting to know Iceland: The likely favorite of fans who’s nations didn’t make the World Cup around the globe, Iceland has proved over the past two years that its incredible performance at the 2016 European Championship was not a flash in the pan. This experienced side, which has essentially played together for the national team since 2012, won its World Cup qualifying group over World Cup group D mate Croatia, as well as Turkey and Ukraine.

Cookies allow us to distinguish you from other users of our website, personalise content and ads, provide social media features and analyse your use of this website. 9.)32 countries will compete in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with Panama and Iceland making their debuts in the competition. ) There is an estimation which says that the World Cup 2018 in Russia will be visited above 3,000,000 people, including 1 000 000 guests from entire the world. Iceland revealed their official world cup kit in a special advertisement.Iceland are the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup and will be lookin.

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Iceland proved its mettle as a defensive juggernaut, taking its chances on the counter-attack very well. The side features Premier League regulars Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton), Johann Berg Gudmundsson and soon-to-be Premier Leaguer Aron Gunnarsson, the glue of the midfield. It certainly won’t be easy – especially as Sigurdsson and others have battled injuries this season – but Iceland is looking to make more history by getting out of the group. It all begins with a massive first game against World Cup finalist Argentina.

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What group are they in? Group D with Argentina, Nigeria and Croatia. Iceland’s gift for becoming the smallest nation to qualify for a World Cup was one of the World Cup’s most difficult groups, with any of the four teams likely to get out of the group. Iceland opens up with a massive game against Argentina, and then they’ll have to face different tests against a young Nigeria side and a veteran Croatia squad.

Game schedule – Group D – Full 2018 World Cup schedule, here

Saturday, June 16: Argentina v Iceland, Moscow (Spartak) 9am, ET
Friday, June 22: Nigeria v Iceland, Volograd 11am, ET
Tuesday, June 26: Iceland v Croatia, Rostov 2pm, ET

Projected lineup (4-2-3-1) – Check out the 23-man squad list in full

—– Halldorsson —–

— Saevarsson — Arnason — Sigurdsson — Magnusson —-

—- Gunnarsson —- Hallfredsson —-

—- Gudmundsson ———- Sigurdsson —-——— Bjarnason —–

—– Finnbogason —–

Star player: Gylfi Sigurdsson – The Everton attacker had a pretty disappointing season in Merseyside after completing his deal to leave Swansea in August, following months of speculation over a move. But for his nation, Sigurdsson is the star of the show, and with Hallfredsson and Gunnarsson shoring up the defense behind him, Sigurdsson should have the freedom to express himself, move around the field and make late runs into the box, to score a special goal or two.

Manager: Heimir Hallgrímsson – The part-time dentist (seriously) took over as the full manager after Lars Lagerback left national team following Euro 2016. Hallgrimsson has carried on the momentum very well, guiding Iceland to its first World Cup. The veteran manager is a pragmatist and will attempt to have Iceland the most defensively organized team at the tournament. Your feedbackfsxp3d. He emphasizes counter attacks and set pieces, so look for Iceland to strike in those ways.

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Secret weapon: Johann Berg Gudmundsson – The Burnley winger was a major part of the team’s incredible push to a seventh-place finish in the Premier League. Last season, Gudmundsson scored two goals and assisted on eight others from his spot on the right wing, and he’ll be looking to play in dangerous crosses to Fingaboson or Sigurdsson in the box at the World Cup. If Gudmundsson can find space behind the defense, he can create great opportunities, giving Iceland a dangerous weapon out wide.

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Prediction: Iceland has never had an easy path to qualification and that didn’t change at the World Cup draw. It will be a huge challenge for the tiny nation to advance out of the group, but one point or more against Argentina could really buoy the side and set them up for wins later in the tournament. I think they manage to get out of the group, making more history along the way. Áfram Ísland!

For all the talk of 2-3-3-2 formations, Argentina throwing caution to the wind and Diego Maradona promptly lambasting the proposed ‘1930s’ system, Jorge Sampaoli looks set to tread carefully for La Albiceleste’s World Cup opener against Iceland.

For the third consecutive day at their training centre in Bronnitsy, Sampaoli worked with an unchanged side that will see Javier Mascherano and Lucas Biglia start at the base of a very much ‘safety first’ midfield.

Of course given the top-heavy nature of Argentina’s squad it is still not what would be considered a solid, defensive unit but with winger Eduardo Salvio being converted into Sampaoli’s first choice right-back, the Benfica wide-player’s offensive output will be counterbalanced by Biglia and Mascherano holding.

Sampaoli has stressed the importance of his full-backs providing the width in his side and in selecting Salvio over Gabriel Mercado, that will be the plan down the right.

Maxi Meza, the Independiente midfielder and relative unknown factor for many outside Argentina, will start in front of Salvio and be one of those players looking to link midfield to attack but will take his position often from the spaces left from Lionel Messi’s roaming role.

This will allow Salvio to operate along the right in a way that perhaps Nicolás Tagliafico, on the opposite side, won’t be able to with quite the same freedom.

Angel Di María keeping his place on the left, ahead of Cristian Pavón, will likely stay wider than Meza and so the impetus will not be on Tagliafico as much to overlap. The Ajax defender, a good reader of the game and strong in the tackle, can even slot in at centre-back and provides the type of structural flexibility that Sampaoli desires.

Mascherano and Biglia shielding the central defensive pairing of Nicolás Otamendi and Marcos Rojo did little to protect the Argentina goal in March’s 6-1 defeat and so Sampaoli knowing that Iceland will not offer the same type of threat will be hoping that his defence will not be exposed in the same way.


Ever Banega returned to full training on Wednesday but the Sevilla midfielder and Giovani Lo Celso, the two more creative midfield options, look likely to have wait their chance.


Some would argue that Sampaoli abandoned his cavalier instincts when selecting his squad, opting for a more familiar, conservative squad than the one many called for.

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The Copa América-winning coach has his reasons for choosing this group and from the outside it is impossible to know better but aside from the decision to go with Salvio, it is undoubtedly a reserved Argentina starting eleven.

With opinion divided and pessimism rampant back home, Sampaoli knows that defeat to Iceland would only intensify the pressure.