Iceland is one of the great betting the World Cup stories. And a more than capable underdog. This is their first ever World Cup. And they began with quite a bang. An opening 1-1 draw against Argentina garnered attention. Not to mention plenty of respect. It was a draw that felt like a win. Reality dictates it actually was. Now Iceland has an opportunity to make a move to the knockout stage. They will now face beatable Nigeria. The Super Eagles are not without talent. However, goalkeeping is likely their downfall.
2018 FIFA World Cup Nigeria vs. Iceland
Date and Time: Friday, June 22, 2018, 11 a.m. ET
Location: Volgograd Arena, Volgograd
World Cup Betting Online Odds at SBG:
|Iceland||PK (-118)||2 (-119)|
|Nigeria||PK (+103)||2 (+104)|
2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage: FOX
Nigeria lost their Betting the World Cup opener to Croatia 2-0. Croatia only put three shots on net, scoring twice. Which is indicative of Nigeria’s weakness. Head coach Gernot Rohr’s squad was considered weak in goal. Additionally, defenders in front are young and raw. It makes for a terrible World Cup combination. Rohr deserves considerable credit for improving the team. Discipline and spirit are far greater than previous years. The coach has been skillful at developing togetherness.
All About Teamwork
Nigeria got to Russia by being greater than the sum of their parts. While not reliant upon a star they also lack one. With Rohr its all about the collective. What fuels the Super Eagles is pure and simple teamwork. The coach has demanded what he calls “communion.” Beyond that he preaches mutual solidarity.
Iceland’s Earned Credibility
Iceland has gone from a darling dog to a respected threat. Their sports betting draw against Argentina earned them credibility. True, they will never match teams in talent. But nobody else can match Iceland for team unity. Coach Heimir Hallgrimsson has taken advantage of a team used to being together. Unlike many other international squads Iceland has played together frequently. Advantageous is the same players and tactics over years of matches. No team has a stronger work ethic. It is rare at the international level to have such togetherness.
Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson was the hero against Argentina. He made six saves. His performance was emblematic of his team. He kept his cool and wasn’t rattled. And he stopped a Lionel Messi penalty kick. Guessing right against a World Class legend will go down in lore. The save of the game was the difference. Alfreo Finnbogason took advantage of defensive chaos for Iceland’s equalizing goal.
Iceland employs a direct and physical style of play. This hides their better than realized technical skills. They are better than given credit for. But while loaded with spirit their depth undeniably lacks. Gylfi Sigurdsson is the undeniable star of the team. If Iceland continues to succeed he will likely play a central role. He has 18 career international goals. And leadership skills not found on a scoresheet.
Matchup to Watch
This will likely be a low scoring game. Both teams play tight and disciplined. There will not be a lot of Betting the World Cup fireworks. Iceland has the matchup edge at goalkeeper.
Betting the World Cup: World Cup Betting Odds Picks
Iceland should have just enough to get through this.
World Cup Betting Online Pick: Iceland
World Cup Betting Score Prediction: Iceland 1, Nigeria 0
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