FIFA World Cup – Group D – Matchday 2 of 3 – Nigeria v Iceland – Preview & Betting Tips

The following is a match centre with betting tips for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group D fixture between Nigeria and Iceland. The game kicks off on the 23rd of June at 1:00 AM AEST. It will be broadcast live by SBS, who now have the rights to all remaining group stage matches.

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Nigeria

Nigeria

  • FIFA World Rank: 48
  • Elo Rating: 43
  • Qualifying: Winner of Group B with a 4-1-1 record in the CAF Third Round.

Squad:

  • Coach: Gernot Rohr (Germany)
  • Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United), Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna)
  • Defenders: William Troost-Ekong, Shehu Abdullahi (Bursaspor), Leon Balogun (Brighton) Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea), Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm), Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto), Elderson Echiejile (Cercle Brugge), Tyronne Ebuehi (Benfica)
  • Midfielders: Mikel Obi (Tianjin Teda), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor), John Ogu (Hapoel Be'er Sheva), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City),Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense), Joel Obi (Torino)
  • Forwards: Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai), Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Simeon Nwankwo (FC Crotone), Victor Moses (Chelsea)

Recent results:

  • Croatia 2 – 0 Nigeria
    16/06/2018
    FIFA World Cup, played in Russia
  • Czech Republic 1 – 0 Nigeria
    06/06/2018
    Friendly, played in Austria
  • England 2 – 1 Nigeria
    02/06/2018
    Friendly, played in England
  • Nigeria 1 – 1 Congo DR
    28/05/2018
    Friendly, played in Nigeria
  • Serbia 2 – 0 Nigeria
    27/03/2018
    Friendly, played in England
  • Poland 0 – 1 Nigeria
    23/03/2018
    Friendly, played in Poland
  • Argentina 2 – 4 Nigeria
    14/11/2017
    Friendly, played in Russia
  • Algeria 3 – 0 Nigeria
    10/11/2017
    WC qualifiers, played in Algeria
  • Nigeria 1 – 0 Zambia
    07/10/2017
    WC qualifiers, played in Nigeria
  • Cameroon 1 – 1 Nigeria
    04/09/2017
    WC qualifiers, played in Cameroon
  • Nigeria 4 – 0 Cameroon
    01/09/2017
    WC qualifiers, played in Nigeria
  • Nigeria 0 – 2 South Africa
    10/06/2017
    African Cup of Nations qualification, played in Nigeria

Statistics: (last four years):

  • H2H Record: 19-11-15
  • O/U record
    • O/U 0.5 record: 41-4
    • O/U 1.5 record: 31-14
    • O/U 2.5 record: 14-31
    • O/U 3.5 record: 9-36
    • O/U 4.5 record: 4-41
    • O/U 5.5 record: 1-44
  • Wins
    • Total wins: 19
    • Won by 1 goal: 5
    • Won by 2 goals: 10
    • Won by 3 goals: 3
    • Won by 4 goals: 1
    • Won by 5 goals: 0
    • Won by 5+ goals: 0
    • Won to nil 13
  • Losses
    • Total losses: 15
    • Lost by 1 goal: 9
    • Lost by 2 goals: 5
    • Lost by 3 goals: 1
    • Lost by 4 goals: 0
    • Lost by 5 goals: 0
    • Lost by 5+ goals: 0
    • Lost to nil 12
  • Clean Sheets and BTTS
    • Total Games: 45
    • Clean Sheets: 17
    • Held Scoreless: 16
    • Both Teams Scored: 16
Iceland

Iceland

  • FIFA World Rank: 22
  • Elo Rating: 24
  • Qualifying: Won Group I with a 7-1-2 record in the UEFA Confederation qualification.

Squad:

  • Coach: Heimir Hallgrímsson
  • Goalkeepers: Hannes Halldorsson (Randers), Runar Runarsson (Nordsjaelland), Frederik Schram (Roskilde)
  • Defenders: Kari Arnason (Aberdeen), Holmar Eyjolfsson (Levski Sofia), Rurik Gislason (Sandhausen), Sverrir Ingason (Rostov), Hordur Magnusson (Bristol City), Birkir Saevarsson (Valur), Ragnar Sigurdsson (Rostov), Ari Skulason (Lokeren)
  • Midfielders: Birkir Bjarnason (Aston Villa), Samuel Fridjonsson (Valerenga), Johann Gudmundsson (Burnley), Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City), Emil Hallfredsson (Udinese), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton), Olafur Skulason (Karabukspor), Arnor Traustason (Malmo)
  • Forwards: Jon Bodvarsson (Reading), Alfred Finnbogason (Augsburg), Albert Gudmundsson (PSV), Bjorn Sigurdarson (Rostov)

Recent results:

  • Argentina 1 – 1 Iceland
    16/06/2018
    FIFA World Cup, played in Russia
  • Iceland 2 – 2 Ghana
    07/06/2018
    Friendly, played in Iceland
  • Iceland 2 – 3 Norway
    02/06/2018
    Friendly, played in Iceland
  • Peru 3 – 1 Iceland
    27/03/2018
    Friendly, played in USA
  • Mexico 3 – 0 Iceland
    23/03/2018
    Friendly, played in USA
  • Indonesia 1 – 4 Iceland
    14/01/2018
    Friendly, played in Indonesia
  • Indonesia 0 – 6 Iceland
    11/01/2018
    Friendly, played in Indonesia
  • Qatar 1 – 1 Iceland
    14/11/2017
    Friendly, played in Qatar
  • Iceland 1 – 2 Czech Republic
    08/11/2017
    Friendly, played in Qatar
  • Iceland 2 – 0 Kosovo
    09/10/2017
    WC qualifiers, played in Iceland
  • Turkey 0 – 3 Iceland
    06/10/2017
    WC qualifiers, played in Turkey
  • Iceland 2 – 0 Ukraine
    05/09/2017
    WC qualifiers, played in Iceland

Statistics: (last four years):

  • H2H Record: 24-10-18
  • O/U record
    • O/U 0.5 record: 51-1
    • O/U 1.5 record: 43-9
    • O/U 2.5 record: 29-23
    • O/U 3.5 record: 15-37
    • O/U 4.5 record: 9-43
    • O/U 5.5 record: 3-49
  • Wins
    • Total wins: 24
    • Won by 1 goal: 11
    • Won by 2 goals: 6
    • Won by 3 goals: 5
    • Won by 4 goals: 1
    • Won by 5 goals: 0
    • Won by 5+ goals: 1
    • Won to nil 16
  • Losses
    • Total losses: 18
    • Lost by 1 goal: 11
    • Lost by 2 goals: 5
    • Lost by 3 goals: 2
    • Lost by 4 goals: 0
    • Lost by 5 goals: 0
    • Lost by 5+ goals: 0
    • Lost to nil 6
  • Clean Sheets and BTTS
    • Total Games: 52
    • Clean Sheets: 17
    • Held Scoreless: 7
    • Both Teams Scored: 29


Commentary

Iceland began their debut World Cup campaign with an impressive 1-1 draw with Argentina. They were out-shot 16 times to zero in the second half and Hannes Halldorsson saved a Messi penalty, but once again Iceland showed their character and ability to get results in big tournaments. The caveat to their form, however, is they remain winless in their last five fixtures and winless in their last seven if you ignore Iceland’s two wins over Indonesia. They will fancy their chances to amend that, however, if Nigeria play as badly as they did in their opening fixture. In team news, winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson could miss this clash after he left the field with a calf injury against Argentina.

Nigeria opened their account with a poor performance in their 2-0 defeat to Croatia. They didn’t register a shot on target until the 59th minute, with coach Gernot Rohr putting their performance down to nerves as Nigeria failed to rise to the occasion. They have the youngest squad in the competition, with only 2 players in the starting 11 having previous World Cup experience. On paper Nigeria boast a good amount of individual talent but the side looked less than the sum of its parts against Croatia. They have won just one of their last 13 World Cup games (1-3-9 record).

Betting

bet365 odds (subject to change):

Compare the latest bookmaker odds for Nigeria vs. Iceland

Both teams come into this fixture struggling for form. Nigeria have gone 0-1-4 in their last 5 games, while Iceland have gone 0-2-3. A noteworthy stat for Nigeria is they scored just 2 goals in those 5 fixtures, while Iceland managed 6. Another point of note is Nigeria’s biggest weakness is their defence against set-pieces. From 1994 to 2018, 14 of the 27 goals they’ve conceded in World Cups have come from a set-piece, which is the highest percentage in the world for that period. Set-pieces are Iceland’s strength, which bodes ominously for the African side. Both sides look evenly matched, but if I had to pick a favourite, I would lean towards Iceland. A draw wouldn’t surprise me, however.

Betting tip: back Iceland +0.5 in the Asian handicap at 1.52 (Betfair)

Notes

 

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