Match prediction & recommendation: ICELAND
World Cup 2018: Iceland vs. Nigeria Betting Analysis
Iceland certainly proved its worth in the Euro and then once again in World Cup qualifying where it finished atop Group I with 22 points. Now Iceland has the opportunity to showcase what it can do on the world stage once again. They looked great in Euro 2016 and have carried that over into the World Cup action so far. Meanwhile, Nigeria took care of business in Group B where it emerged ahead of Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria, but they were easily one of the biggest disappointments from Matchday 1.
Despite falling short versus Croatia in its opener, there were plenty of positives that Nigeria could take in to its second game. First, they didn’t concede a goal in the first game with the exception of an own goal and a penalty kick. Second, they managed to break Croatia’s back line and score a goal of their own against a talented opponent to threaten for a draw late in the match. Nigeria doesn’t have the world class individual talent to rely solely on skill but when they play as a team, they could still threaten to steal points in this contest. They can draw inspiration from what Iceland has accomplished as a team and hope that they can become the Cinderella story of Group D by stealing three points from them on Friday morning.
Iceland barely squeaked by Argentina. While it was an impressive performance, it was also a lucky one. Iceland only had the ball for 22% of the time. Nigeria should have plenty of chances if Iceland plays as conservatively again.
Iceland will need to keep its foot on the gas in what is now their most important game of the group stage. After stealing a point from Argentina, Iceland can move in to the driver’s seat in Group D with a win over Nigeria. That might not be an easy task for this side but Iceland is surely capable of picking up three points in this contest. Hannes Halldorsson was excellent for Iceland in its opening match and will be relied on to close the door on Nigeria in this contest.
While the general consensus is that Iceland is very lucky to have a point – especially since Lionel Messi missed a penalty kick – Iceland did create several quality scoring chances versus Argentina. They will probably come out conservatively again, looking to slow down Nigeria first and then find some openings. While the goals won’t come easy, it might only take one for Iceland to come out on top in what should be a closely contested game.
Iceland vs. Nigeria World Cup Prediction
Iceland 1, Nigeria 0
Correct score prediction: Nigeria 0-1 Iceland
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