Argentina vs Iceland 2018 World Cup Group D Betting Preview

Argentina vs Iceland 2018 World Cup Group D Betting Preview

One of the titans in international soccer faces off with a true underdog when Argentina and Iceland clash on Saturday in Group D play from the 2018 World Cup in Russia, meeting for the first time in their combined history as soccer programs. Argentina advanced to the final in 2014, losing to Germany, and Lionel Messi remains one of the best players in the world without a World Cup title to his name. The Argentinian side also includes Sergio Aguero (Manchester City). They face an Iceland side that went to the quarterfinals at Euro 2016, upsetting England in the round of 16. However, Iceland now face a much more substantial task when they open against Argentina. Take a look at our World Cup betting preview for this match.

Argentina vs Iceland 2018 World Cup Group D Betting Preview

When: Saturday, June 16, 2018, 9:00am ET Where: Spartak Stadium, Moscow TV: FOX Radio: None Live Stream: Live Soccer TV Soccer Odds: Argentina -300 / Draw +410 / Iceland +1278

Why should you bet on Argentina?

Argentina come into this tournament having won their group in three consecutive World Cup, and they have a six-game winning streak in group play openers. In their last 12 World Cup appearances, they have only failed to make the knockout round once, back in 2002. In their last 15 group play games, they have 12 wins, two draws and a single loss, that setback coming in 2002 against England. With that said, they almost didn’t qualify for Russia, needing a win in their very last match to make it in. They only scored 19 goals in CONMEBOL qualification, second-lowest in the region, and they just took a bad loss to Spain in a friendly, so there is definitely some work to do. On the positive side, Lionel Messi had seven of those 19 goals in qualification, and he has scored four times in Argentina’s last seven goals in this tournament. Manager Jorge Sampaoli took the reins of the team with four matches left in qualification, and he coaches in the World Cup for the second time. In 2014, he led Chile to the round of 16 where they fell to Brazil on penalty kicks. Around Messi is a strong supporting cast with Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria in addition to Aguero. Argentina can turn an opponent mistake into a quick goal like few other teams, so Iceland will have to play its best ball possession to have a chance here.

Why should you bet on Iceland?

As we mentioned above, Argentina have not looked solid at all, either in qualification or in their friendly against Spain. Heimir Hallgrimsson returns to lead Iceland after taking them to unprecedented heights at Euro 2016, and that continuity in leadership should pay dividends in Russia. There are also some key injuries for Argentina, as starting goalkeeper Sergio Romero is out for the whole tournament (knee) and Manuel Lanzini (ACL tear) will miss play as well. Despite the fact that Iceland lacks the sort of international reputation of Argentina does not mean that they are lacking in chemistry or grit. They have 15 players on the roster with at least 20 international appearances, and they have a possible star in Gylfi Sigurdsson, who has played well with Everton and Swansea City. On the level of intangibles, all the pressure here is on Argentina. They have stumbled to Russia, while Iceland are on a solid streak in European play, both at Euro 2016 and in UEFA qualification. The problem for Iceland comes with the huge gap in talent. Argentina’s team is simply more skilled than Iceland’s roster.

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

I love the grit that Iceland brings, and they have a chance to come out of this group, but given the hunger that Argentina should bring to the tournament, I don’t see Iceland coming out of this with a point. I like Argentina to drive the action and win, 3-1.