When all is said and done, and his career is over, Lionel Messi is going to go down as one of the best players ever to have played the game. He has won just about every award and accolade that a player can earn, but the one that has eluded him is the biggest of them all; the FIFA World Cup. Messi came as close as you can get without winning it four years ago in Brazil, when Argentina lost to Germany in the final. The South Americans are always in among the favorites, but it’s more than fair to suggest that the squad that Argentina had 4 years ago was better than the team arriving in Russia this week. The reality of the situation is that this might be the last chance that Argentina have of hoisting the trophy in the Messi era, but we all know that South American teams tend to struggle in FIFA World Cup’s played in Russia. There is a lot of football to be played before we crown a champion, and Argentina will have a tricky opener when they face Iceland in Group D action on Saturday.

Game Information

🏆: #WorldCup
⚽: Argentina Vs Iceland (Group Stage, Group D, Matchday 1 of 3)
🏟️: Otkrytiye Arena, Moscow
⏰: Saturday, June 16 at 9 AM EST
📺: FOXSports
🎰: Argentina -1, -1½ -125 | -286 | U 2½ -115

2018 FIFA World Cup: Expert Pick to Win Group D

Why bet on Argentina

If Argentina are to make a deep run in Russia, the other players in the squad are going to need to step up and play their part as opposed to sitting back and waiting for Messi to make something happen. They certainly have the players to do so, including Sergio Aguero, who is coming off a great season with Manchester City in the English Premier League. Aguero is a proven goal scorer, and he may just be able to take some of the scoring load off of Messi, leaving the little man free to play the creative role in which he excels so well. The reality here is that Argentina will need to play a whole lot better than they did in the South American qualifying, as there was a period of time where it looked as though they might miss out. They are especially going to need to tighten up on the defensive end, as that will get them in trouble against the better teams in this tournament.

FIFA World Cup Argentina Vs Iceland 1

Why bet on Iceland

Iceland, and their fans proved to be a formidable force at the 2016 European Champions, and you can bet that neutral fans are going to take this team to heart. Whether this team can repeat their performance from a couple of years ago is likely going to depend on the health of some of their key players. Iceland are a tough team to break down, but their backline has been decimated by injuries in the lead up to the World Cup, which has caused them to give up a lot of goals in their warm-up games ahead of the tournament. One thing that this team does have going for them is their cohesiveness and work ethic. They will never be outworked on the field, and they are a team that never seems to get too up or down.

Iceland are a tough team to break down

FIFA World Cup Argentina Vs Iceland 2

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

Given the current state of the defense on both these teams, I think we are looking at a definite OVER play. I think Argentina will edge out the win in what should be an entertaining game.

Predicted Score: Argentina 3 Iceland 2

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