FIFA World Cup: Nigeria Vs Iceland Betting Analysis & Prediction
Every FIFA World Cup delivers a dark horse team who end up making a run that seemingly came out of nowhere. Prior to the start of this tournament, it was my belief that Iceland might be that team this time around. After all, they are just 2 years removed from a magnificent run at the European Championships, and even though they were drawn in a very tough group here, I still believed them to be a threat to move on out of the group stage. They certainly seemed to prove me right, stifling Lionel Messi and Argentina in the opener en route to a 1-1 tie. While that point feels like a bit of a bonus, Iceland need to build on that by putting in a big performance against Nigeria on Friday. The Nigerians have their backs against the wall a little after falling to Croatia in the opener, and they really need to pick up at least a point here to stay alive in this group, especially when you consider that their final game will be against Argentina. It really is all to play for here, with Iceland having the potential to get into a prime position with the win.
And so, after the first round of games in Group D…
— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 16, 2018
⚽: Nigeria Vs Iceland (Group Stage, Group D, Matchday 2 of 3)
🏟️: Volgograd Arena
⏰: Friday, June 22 at 11 AM EST
🎰: Iceland pk -115 | +175 | O 2 -120
Why bet on Nigeria
Nigeria offered very little in the way of an attacking threat in their opener against Croatia, and it actually took more than an hour for them to register a shot on goal. That does not bode well for the Super Eagles ahead of a meeting with what was a very organized Iceland team. Nigeria are likely looking at a similar defensive set-up from Iceland, as they will almost certainly look to emulate the style that the Croatian defense delivered in their 2-0 win over Nigeria. On the plus side for the Africans, they did look quite solid at the back, and it was a pair of set-piece opportunities for Croatia that eventually did them in. Since there is really no room for a loss here, I expect that Nigeria will try to deliver more of an attacking style in this one, with Victor Moses pulling all the strings up front.
Why bet on Iceland
Iceland may not play the most glamorous style of football, but they are a hard-working, very well-organized team that are always hard to grind down. They also never seem to get too up or down, as witnessed by their comeback against Argentina. A lot of teams may have folded after going a goal down to a team as good as the South Americans, but Iceland were level just 4 minutes after conceding the opener, and they never really looked in any danger after that. Iceland are probably going to be happy to play a similar style in this one, as they will look to negate the quick counterattacking style that the Nigerians are likely to adopt. A win here would put Iceland in a very favorable position.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I may end up being proven wrong, but I don’t think we are going to see a lot of free-flowing, stylish football in this one. I think we may well be in for a rather dour scoreless tie.
Predicted Score: Nigeria 0 Iceland 0