FIFA World Cup 2018 :Giants and Killers in Group D
This group features Iceland,Argentina,Croatia and Nigeria in the quest to make a mark in this world cup.
ICELAND (FIFA Rank-22)
ARGENTINA (FIFA Rank-5)
CROATIA (FIFA Rank-20)
NIGERIA (FIFA Rank-48)
This group has one major giant of football, Argentina but sudden surge and fight shown by Iceland during Euro 2016 makes them giant killer, remember how easily they knocked out England in a Euro shocker. Even the quarterfinals against France in Euro 2016 had all football fan on their feet. The team received an astounding Viking clap reception which eventually became a ritual after every match.
Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson was the key in Euro 2016 and looks in lethal form. With eight assists in Premier League, this season Johann Berg Gudmundsson will be the one to watch out for. Ragnar Sigurdsson, best remembered for the breathtaking goal against England in Euro 2016 will be the backbone for the Viking chanted side. Iceland had a smooth road to qualification in a group featuring giants like Ukraine and Turkey.
Argentina is more about misses than hits. Lionel Messi side was the finalist in 2014 FIFA World Cup and that heartbreaking free kick against Germany in the last edition World Cup finals still breaks many hearts. Consecutive losses in finals of Copa America 2015, 2016 against Chile left a deep impact on the team. Lionel Messi decided to call it quits after the Copa America final and AFA was out of control, as players like Aguero, Di Maria also decided to join Messi and retire.
Barca's (Greatest of All-time), Messi took a decision and played the qualification matches for Argentina and is now currently leading the time. "Messi did not owe the World Cup to Argentina, but football owed the World Cup to Messi.," said coach Jorge Sampoli after a match against Ecuador in 2017. The squad has a mix of young and old guns. Franco Armani will look to capitalize on the opportunity. Manchester City's Nicolas Otamendi, Javier Mascherano will play the squad on their experience. PSGs Angel Di Maria, Eduardo Salvio, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala and Sergio Aguero will be the guiding force for the team.
Talking about Croatia, In all likelihood, Real Madrid's playmaker Luka Modric will play his last World Cup for Croatia. Mateo Kovacic, Ivan Rakitic, and Marcelo Brozovic will also play a key role. Luck has always been against Croatia, in 2010 World Cup it failed to qualify for the World Cup and in 2014 was placed in the same group as host Brazil. Let see if it can turn its fortune around this time.
Nigeria looks like a balanced team with Leon Balogun, William Troost and John Obi Mikel taking care of the midfield. Wilfred Ndidi, Victor Moses and Arsenal's star Alex Iwobi on the attack. The only major area of concern is in the goalkeeping department where the retirement of Vincent Enyeama and Carl Ikeme's leukemia diagnosis have left Rohr(Gerad Rohr coach) lacking inexperienced options.
Nigeria surprisingly cruised through a strong qualifying group that featured Cameroon, Algeria, and Zambia,
It will be interesting to see if Croatia, Nigeria, and Iceland match up to Argentina.