Nigeria vs Iceland preview, betting tips and prediction
Iceland @ 13/8 with Coral
Defeated in their opening game, Nigeria put in an extremely disappointing showing in their match against Croatia. Tournament dark horses, Croatia didn’t manage to get a shot on target until the final stages of the game but still managed a comfortable 2-0 win over one of the youngest teams in the competition. Chelsea old boy John Obi Mikel, now plying his trade in China, is the veteran of the squad at 31. Their lack of experience was evident.
When it comes to having an experienced group of players, Iceland are the polar opposite of Nigeria. The country’s golden generation picked up another result for the ages when they opened their first World Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw against Argentina. It was a match that featured goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson saving a Lionel Messi penalty.
Nigeria are on a terrible run of form at the minute. Their pre-tournament friendly streak of defeats didn’t help them one iota before Croatia made it five defeats in their last six games. They clearly have a talented squad but they struggled to find any rhythm in their opener.
Iceland benefitted from Argentina mistakes in their clash with the South Americans – Willy Caballero’s fumble, Messi’s awful penalty effort – but also deserve credit for executing a game-plan extremely well. They packed their midfield and pressured Argentina when they didn’t have the ball. They once again proved they have the belief and unity to battle any opponent.
Nigeria have no injury concerns going into this match.
Iceland also have a full squad to choose from.