Group D kicks off on Saturday and the more intriguing contest of the group on day three is definitely Argentina vs Iceland.
Alongside Croatia and Nigeria, both Argentina and Iceland will be hoping to kick off their campaign with the greatest possible start, three points in the bag. This will be a classic David vs Goliath battle, with Argentina consisting of some of the best players in world football, against Iceland who have become known as the underdogs of international football in the past few years.
Head to Head: This will be the first time the two nations have met.
Argentina come into this match off the back of a 4-0 win against Haiti, but were not able to play any other warm-up matches are their fixtures against both Israel and Nicaragua were cancelled. The South Americans finished 3rd in their qualifying group, and despite the star power in their squad, the general consensus in that Argentina are destined to fail, at least in the knockout rounds. The likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi will be hoping to safely guide Argentina through the group stages and onto a successful run in the knockout rounds.
As for Iceland, it couldn’t have been a more difficult start to life at the World Cup, facing former cup winners and a team which includes one of the greatest of all time. The EURO 2016 quarter-finalists will be happy with any points they can take at their first World Cup, and anything other than a loss on Saturday will send the Icelandic fans into frenzy, and probably a viking clap.
Ones to watch:
For Argentina, there are some obvious choices for ones to watch. Lionel Messi is always a danger, no matter who his teammates are or who his opposition is. Other than Messi, you have a large selection of threat in attack with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala and Angel di Maria who all can make a difference to any match.
For Iceland, a big name in English football Gylfi Sigurdsson will be hoping to help carry his Iceland side to as much success as possible. With him you have Johann Berg Gudmundsson who has enjoyed a surprisingly good season with Burnley and will be hoping to carry on that form with his national side.
I feel like there is only one way this match can go, but don’t be surprised to see Iceland provide some danger to the Argentine defence, and potentially grab a goal. My final prediction is 3-1 to Argentina.
Spartak Stadium (Moscow)
Kick Off – 2pm GMT