Betting tip World Cup 2018: Argentina - Iceland

Saturday, 16.06.2018 at 15:00 o’clock (CET)

The duel Argentina versus Iceland as Group D opener

On June 16 2018 the first match in Group D of the World Cup 2018 will played, when Argentina takes on Iceland. According to our forecast both teams can have justified hopes of making it past the group stage and therefore this match is kind of a location determination in Group D. Both teams haven’t been particularly successful in the preparation leading to the World Cup and so it’s hard to make a prediction considering the current form of both teams. We still were able to make out certain tendencies in the course of our research, from which we derived a couple of lucrative betting tips. Kick-off is at 3 PM in Moscow’s Spartak stadium.

Argentina

  • stronger roster
  • can rely on genius of Lionel Messi

Iceland

  • has advantages in counter attacks
  • physically strong

Current form Argentina

After Argentina only got the World Cup ticket for Russia on the last game day of the qualification, Lionel Messi and Co. also weren’t able to pick up speed in the following test matches. The results resemble a rollercoaster ride: In November last year they beat host Russia 1:0, but this victory was followed by a turbulent 2:4 loss against Nigeria, in which Argentina’s defence revealed weaknesses. In the official match break in March 2018 Argentina played two test matches against absolute top nations: Jorge Sampaoli celebrated a clear 2:0 win over Italy, but then lost against World Cup favourite Spain 4:0. Argentina won the most recent test match again 1:6, but it needs to be mentioned that the opponent was Haiti. Argentina still was able to gain some self-confidence for sure though. Another test match was planned against Israel, but it had to be cancelled due to politically motivated threats against Lionel Messi. As you can see from this first analysis, consistency is not of Argentina’s strengths. Additionally coach Sampaoli’s number one goal keeper Sergia Romero and midfielder Manuel Lanzini suffered injuries shortly before the tournament in Russia. Those two are absolute pillars of Argentina’s national team. To replace West Ham player Lanzini coach Sampaoli nominated Enzo Perez, who plays for the Argentinian Club River Plate. In the duel with the dynamic and fast transitioning Iceland we expect Argentina in a waiting position. They will want to avoid running in the open knife. Instead they will wait for their chances, which they will get, since Iceland’s defence hasn’t been very steady lately according to our analysis. Therefore we recommend placing a betting tip on fewer than 2.5 goals, because according to our forecast both teams won’t take the full risk in the first match of Group D and therefore rather wait for opponents’ mistakes.

Current form Iceland

Iceland was able to finish first in their World Cup qualification group and sent secret favourite Croatia to the play offs. Since the last World Cup qualification match, which Iceland won 2:0 against Kosovo, they have been struggling a bit though. They only won one of seven test games, and the win was obtained against Indonesia. Coach Heimir Hallgrimsson’s team drew against Qatar and Ghana and lost to the Czech Republic, Mexico, Peru and Norway. The matches against the World Cup starters Mexico and Peru were lost pretty clearly too, namely 0:3 and 1:3. So the signs for the first match against Argentina are anything but great, even though Lionel Messi and Co also didn’t play a great preparation. We expect Iceland to play their typical 4-4-2 system against Argentina, which focuses on a game over the outside lanes. According to our forecast Argentina needs to be particularly aware of the two wings Johan Berg Gudmundsson and Birkir Bjarnason. Additionally Messi and Co should try to avoid an early Iceland goal, since Iceland can capitalize even more from their fast transition game and strength in counter attacks, when in the lead. Nevertheless the South Americans are the clear favourite in this match. Therefore a corresponding betting tip would be worth considering, but due to the clear roles it won’t make for high odds. Therefore we recommend betting on fewer than 2.5 goals as an alternative. We reason that with our forecast of the course of the match: Since Argentina needs to take care of not receiving an early goal and in the following having to open up rooms for counter attacks, we expect a match characterized by tactics, in which both teams will be in a waiting position at first.

Betting Tip and Forecast

It’s the first World Cup 2018 match for both teams and the result will already set the direction of Group D due to the team constellation. Therefore we expect both teams to be cautious at first. One reason for that may also be the mediocre results in the preparation from both teams. Therefore we recommend placing a betting tip on fewer than 2.5 goals in the whole match.

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