Having pulled off one of the shocks of the opening round of fixtures at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, Iceland will be hoping for all three points against Nigeria at the Volgograd Arena on Friday. In their opening match of Group D, the fearless tournament debutants managed to hold Argentina to a 1-1 draw thanks to a compact and hard-working collective performance. When an unnerved Lionel Messi missed a penalty that could have won the game, the Icelanders visibly grew in confidence and now Heimir Hallgrimsson’s side is in with a decent chance of qualifying for the Round of 16.

On the other hand, Nigeria goes into this fixture under significant psychological pressure, as defeat would consign them to an early exit from the tournament. Gernot Rohr’s team were unconvincing in their first match in Russia, when they looked predictable in attack and less than assured defending set pieces in a fully deserved 2-0 reverse to Croatia.

Team reporter analysis

Emma Akura with Nigeria
It’s going to be a tough match but I see Nigeria getting three points.

Sunday Ògúnnìyí
Nigeria 1 Iceland 0

Tunji Olatunbosun with Nigeria
Nigeria 1 Iceland 0

Francis Ottah, not sure.
I am really scared of the team If Nigeria could allow 2-0 from Croatia. I don’t know.

Annette Braun with Nigeria 
The task for the Super Eagles is simple: they need at least one point to keep their chances of making it to the Round of 16 alive. Clearly, their attack lacked bite against Croatia, so the question is whether the Nigerians can find a way through the tightly-packed Icelandic defense. Could there be any personnel changes from the first match? It is entirely possible that Ahmed Musa may play from the start.

Petur Hreinsson with Iceland 
If anyone thought that the Icelandic players’ appetite for more glory was over when they reached the group stage of the World Cup, the performance against Argentina proved their doubters wrong. They are not in Russia just to enjoy being at the World Cup and the team’s official goal is to qualify for the last 16. The only player not fully fit in their squad is Johann Gudmundsson, who remains a major doubt to recover in time.

Did you know?
Nigeria has won just one of their last 13 matches at the FIFA World Cup (W1-D3-L9), a 1-0 victory against Bosnia and Herzegovina on 21 June 2014 in Cuiaba during the group stage of Brazil 2014. Peter Odemwingie got the only goal of the game on that occasion.

Possible line-ups
Nigeria: Francis Uzoho; Abdullahi Shehu, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Brian Idowu; Wilfred Ndidi, John Obi Mikel, Oghenekaro Etebo; Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi.

Iceland: Hannes Halldorsson; Birkir Saevarsson, Kari Arnason, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Hordor Magnusson; Emil Hallfredsson, Aron Gunnarsson; Gylfi Sigurdsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Rurik Gislason; Alfred Finnbogason.

About author

Nigerians in South Africa
Nigerians in South Africa 6422 posts

We are about democracy, human rights, public opinion, political behavior, civil rights and policy aimed at improving the human condition, with a focus on African countries.

You might also like

WHO declares ‘progress’ in fight against coronavirus

The World Health Organisation on Wednesday hailed “tremendous progress” in the fight against the deadly new coronavirus since it emerged in China in December.”We are making tremendous progress in a short period of time … trends are very encouraging but we are not at a turning point yet,” said Richard Brennan, WHO’s regional emergency director,…

De Kock’s Proteas trounce England, start new ODI era in style

Cape Town – The Proteas were barely recognisable at Newlands on Tuesday, cruising to a 7-wicket victory in the first ODI against England with 2.2 overs to spare. SCOREBOARD: Proteas v England – 1st ODIIn Quinton de Kock’s first game as full-time captain, the hosts were superior to the world champions in all departments – a welcome sign given the well-documented strife of…


The rape of a ten-year-old girl, allegedly by a foreign shopkeeper, has left the community of Klipfontein in Midrand up in arms. Some residents want all foreign-owned businesses to close


  1. Emmanuel Akura
    June 21, 10:14 Reply
    I think a lot of people are making a mistake of comparing Iceland to Croatia,The Croatian side that beat Super Eagles is a team with experienced players who have won champions league and are playing for some of the best teams in Europe,unlike the Nigerian players who are playing for some of the obscure leagues in Europe and Asia.My point is Nigeria will get three points against Iceland.
  2. Ademola
    June 21, 16:37 Reply
    Your comment..Great Team, Great Nigeria we will win Iceland

Leave a Reply