Nigeria vs Iceland
Competition: 2018 World Cup finals
Date: 22 June 2018
Kick-off: 17:00 CET
When you lose 2-0 and the goals have been an own-goal and a penalty, you may be left feeling that you deserved better than that, but in Nigeria’s case and that 2-0 defeat to Croatia the other day, it’s unanimously accepted that the Africans got exactly what they “deserved”, nothing. It was a poor performance overall, even from their… coach, with some key choices not working out, like playing John Obi Mikel as a 10, pretty much, which is way more forward than his “natural” 6 position. Mikel didn’t make any impact on Nigeria’s game, definitely not a positive one. The only real surprise was that the Nigerians got… outmuscled by the Croatians. If there was one thing you expected Nigeria to win, were the one-on-one “battles”. They failed even there.
What a day that was for Iceland, their 1-1 draw with Argentina. This has been repeated so many times that it has turned into a boring cliché, but… it remains true, they are a tiny nation of a few hundred thousand people, and they managed to get a very deserved draw playing against mighty Argentina, featuring one of the two best players in the world the last 10 years (and two of the best of all times), Lionel Messi. The Icelanders did great the things they… tend to do great in most of their games, the “basics”, fighting for every ball, and “reading” the opponents’ weaknesses. They definitely outsmarted the Argentines, and there is no doubt, even by the Argentines themselves, that Iceland deserved that point. Their goalkeeper played a huge role though, denying Messi in a penalty shot, with the score at 1-1.
Previous five matches:
Croatia vs Nigeria 2-0
Nigeria vs Czech Republic 0-1
England vs Nigeria 2-1
Nigeria vs Congo DR 1-1
Nigeria vs Serbia 0-2
Argentina vs Iceland 1-1
Iceland vs Ghana 2-2
Iceland vs Norway 2-3
Iceland vs Peru 1-3
Mexico vs Iceland 3-0
Nigeria’s last group match is on Tuesday, against Argentina. Same day, Iceland will be facing Croatia.
Nigeria vs Iceland: Head to head Stats
Nigeria and Iceland have met just once before, in a friendly game back in 1981(!), which the Icelanders won 3-0.
Nigeria vs Iceland: Prediction
Iceland are considered slight favorites to win the game. I see them earn at least a draw.
Nigeria vs Iceland: Betting Tips
Iceland’s win in “draw no bet” is at 1.80. Their double chance pays just 1.42. If I took the risk to bet on their victory without the safety net of “draw no bet”, I would combine it with a clean sheet. Like that, it pays 4.00, which is definitely worth the risk.