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#WorldCupRussia2018: Iceland Seeks to Pluck and Freeze Eagles

Moscow - Having pulled off a shock in the opening round of fixtures at the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia, Iceland will be hoping for all th...

Moscow - Having pulled off a shock in the opening round of fixtures at the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia, Iceland will be hoping for all three points against Nigeria at the Volgograd Arena. 

In their opening match of Group D, the fearless tournament debutants managed to hold Argentina to a 1-1 draw thanks to a compact and hard-working collective performance.

When the unnerved Lionel Messi missed a penalty that could have won the game, the Icelanders visibly grew in confidence and now Heimir Hallgrimsson’s charges are in with a decent chance of qualifying for the Round of 16.

On the other hand, Nigeria go into this fixture under significant psychological pressure, as defeat would consign them to an early exit from the tournament. Nigeria are now at the bottom of the Group D table.
Victor Moses
All Eyes on Victor Moses to Deliver Against Iceland 

Gernot Rohr’s team were unconvincing in their first match in Russia, when they looked predictable in attack and less than assured defending set-pieces in a fully deserved 2-0 defeat to Croatia.

The task for the Super Eagles is simple, they need at least one point to keep their chances of making it to the Round of 16 alive.

Clearly their attack lacked bite against Croatia, so the question is whether the Nigerians can find a way through the tightly packed Icelandic defence. Could there be any personnel changes from the first match? It is entirely possible that Ahmed Musa may play from the start.

If anyone thought that the Icelandic players’ appetite for more glory was over when they reached the group stage of the World Cup, the performance against Argentina proved their doubters wrong.

They are not in Russia just to enjoy being at the World Cup – the team’s official goal is to qualify for the Last 16. The only player not fully fit in their squad is Johann Gudmundsson, who remains a major doubt to recover in time for the clash.

Nigeria have won just one of their last 13 matches at the Fifa World Cup, a 1-0 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina on 21 June 2014 in Cuiaba during the group stage of Brazil 2014. Rohr is confident that his side will qualify to reach the next round.

“We recognise that Croatia had the better team and my young players made mistakes, again on the corners. Of course you are not satisfied when you don’t score.

“We were satisfied with the organisation of the team defensively, but we did not have many chances to score,” he said. –, CNN 

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