Argentina v Iceland Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 16th June
Connor Thompson (@thompsonnn10) previews Argentina v Iceland and provides us with his best bets for Saturday’s World Cup match-up by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats, facts and more.
Argentina v Iceland Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 16/06/18
- Time: 14:00
- Venue: Spartak Stadium
- Channel: BBC
After losing in the final of the 2014 World Cup, the natural progression for Argentina would be to go one step further and win it. To do so, Jorge Sampaoli’s men will need a result against new boys Iceland in the opening round of Group D.
This is the first World Cup Iceland have ever reached and if their Euro 2016 campaign was anything to go by then it’s going to be one hell of an experience for the fans. In qualifying Iceland topped a group consisting of Croatia, Ukraine and Turkey, building their success off the back of an organised defensive line, that conceding just seven goals in 10 matches.
However, in their build-up to the World Cup, the wheels have come loose as the Vikings have won just one of their last five, conceding two or more goals against the likes of Mexico, Peru, Ghana and Norway.
Although, with Iceland leaking goals at the back, it has given a much-needed boost of form to their attackers, as Iceland have scored in their last five matches, with both teams scoring in four. For Argentina, both teams have scored in two of their last five with Nigeria and Spain managing to put four and six past them, respectively.
Argentina’s recent form is rather inconsistent reading as WLWLW, with a 4-0 thumbing of Haiti last time out. Their two losses came to the hands of Spain and Nigeria, where they capitulated on each occasion.
In the South American qualifying group, Argentina conceded 16 goals and kept a clean sheet in eight of their 18 matches. Their defensive record was the actually the second best in qualifying, only beaten by Brazil, who conceded 11.
To no surprise, Lionel Messi (7) was the top scorer for Argentina and Nicolás Otamendi was the most booked player (7). It’s likely that the before mentioned events will be a common combination in the tournament and there could be value here in the request-a-bet market.
Manuel Lanzini has been replaced by Enzo Perez in the 23-man squad following an injury in training.
First-choice goalkeeper Sergio Romero has also suffered an injury which should see Willy Caballero take his spot in the starting line-up.
Iceland’s squad may be the most injury hit with potentially four players missing out on the Argentina game with injuries.
Gylfi Sigurdsson, Aron Gunnarsson and Alfred Finbogasson are all fighting to be fit having all carried injuries with them over the past few months, whilst Kolbein Sighthorsson is definitely ruled out with a knee injury.
Potential Argentina Starting XI: Caballero, Fazio, Otamendi, Mercado, Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Salvio, Messi, Di Maria, Aguero.
Potential Iceland Starting XI: Ragnar Sigurdsson, Arnason, Magnusson, Saevarsson, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Bjarnason, Gudmundsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Bodvarsson.
Head to Head
- The sides have never met before.
Key Stats & Facts
- Iceland have scored in every game they’ve played in at a major tournament.
- Messi was the top scorer for Argentina in qualifying with 7 goals.
- Otamendi was the most carded player in South America in qualifying, picking up 7 yellows.
- Argentina 4/11
- Draw 18/5
- Iceland 10/1
The firepower of Messi, Aguero, Higuaín, Di Maria and Dybala should be enough to manage a goal against a shaky Iceland side, it’s just whether or not Iceland can get on the scoresheet themselves. The Vikings played five matches in Euro 2016, their first ever major tournament and in each game BTTS would’ve landed. In that tournament, they played the likes of England, France and Portugal, which suggests they can manage a goal against the ‘big boys’.