Tip Argentina - Iceland
After years of being World Cup minnows, Iceland have made fantastic strides in the past decade. They qualified for their first ever European Championships in 2016 and went on to reach the quarter finals with that memorable win over England in the last sixteen. It was important that they built on that success and that's just what they have done by reaching their first ever World Cup finals. They did so by winning their group by two points from Croatia who they will again do battle with later in this group. It was their home form that got them to Russia with five wins out of five and only two on the road but reaching these finals is a massive achievement for them. Current form sees Iceland with big problems as they have gone four games without a win and conceded 11 goals in those matches, not the form you need when going up against Lionel Messi. Their final warm-up game saw them draw 2-2 with Ghana giving away a two-goal lead. At least that draw ended a run of three straight defeats by Mexico, Peru and Norway. At least they have a striker in form with Alfred Finnbogason having scored in theiir last two internationals.
Argentina usually come into World Cups as one of the favourites to lift the trophy but at this point it's a case of waiting to see just how well they start the tournament before making any decisions to place any money on them. The Argentinians may have Messi but they still haven't won the World Cup since 1986 and this is surely the strikers last chance to get a World Cup winners medal. They very nearly didn't make it to Russia after struggling to get through the South American qualifying group. Eventually they finished third with Lionel Messi scoring a hat-trick in their final game against Ecuador. Argentina lost four games in the group and defeat in that final group match would have seen them finish seventh and out of the World Cup. Life since they finally assured qualification hasn't been that easy either. Last November they had a couple of games in Russia beating the home nation 1-0 iwith Aguero getting the winner four minutes from time, then ttok on Nigeria, went 2-0 up and lost 4-2. The inconsistencies continued with a 2-0 win over Italy in March followed by a 6-1 beating by Spain. Their only recent game was a 4-0 win over Haiti with Lionel Messi scoring a hat-trick. Their strength is in attack with Messi, Aguero and Higuain having scored 132 international goals between them. The big worries are in defence and especially in goal with their three named goalies for this tournament only having nine caps between them and first choice Willy Caballero spent most of his season sitting on the bench at Chelsea. Argentina have the ability to win this game against an out-of-form Iceland so go for them to get the win.
Key points Argentina - Iceland
Iceland have gone four games without a win.
Icelahd have conceded 11 goals in their last four games.
Lionel Messi is in form having scored a hat-trick in Argentina's most recent game, a 4-0 win over Haiti.T
Conclusion Argentina - Iceland
Argentina had plenty of problems reaching these finals and have been inconsistent since qualification. They take on a Icelandic side that have done incredibly well to qualify for the first time in their history but haven't been in good form at all since doing so. They struggle in defence and are likely to have big problems in this match if the Argentinian strikers can hit anything like top form. Argentina have a few defensive problems of their own and those will probably be highlighted later in the tournament when coming up against tougher sides. In the meantime, they can get their campaign off to a winning strart against Iceland but of all the top sides in the tournament, watching their performance is going to be the most interesting after all their recent struggles.
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