Iceland is a small nation with a giant heart. The Icelandic players play with their hearts on the outside, and they fight till the very end for their nation. Can they compete with the best in the FIFA World Cup?
Iceland will play in group D in the World Cup. This is the worst of all groups, but at the same time the most interesting group. They will play against Argentina in their opening match, followed by matches against Croatia and Nigeria. Do the Icelandic vikings have any chance at all in this group?
Based on the results of the Icelandic team in the last four years, I would clearly say that they have a chance. In the European Championship in 2016 they ended up second in their group, behind Hungary, but before Portugal (the nation that later won the entire tournament). In the first leg of the knockout stage they won 2-1 against England, but in the quarter final France stopped them.
During the qualification for the World Cup Iceland kept on impressing. They won matches against Turkey, Croatia and Ukraine, but they also had some poorer results, like when they lost against Finland.
The biggest challenge for Iceland right now
The Icelandic team is happy to have their playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson back after injury. But, is that enough to lift the team to a new level? In their last four matches Iceland has lost 3-0 against Mexico, 3-1 against Peru, 3-2 against Norway and they played 2-2 against Ghana yesterday. What is most alarming with the results are the amount of goals they get against them. Until now, Iceland has been known for their compact defense, and it has always been hard to score goals against them. But, in their last 4 matches Iceland has had to take the ball out of their own net 11 times. That is way to much, and their first opponent in the World Cup, Argentina, will for sure punish Iceland if their defense is unable to keep it together.
And, I have a feeling that the FIFA World Cup 2018 will be a sad tournament for the Icelandic team. They have had some great victories, but now they would need a whole lot of luck if they are going to succeed.
If you want to see cool football, you should probably cheer for Nigeria and Argentina instead. Iceland plays well disciplined (that is boring) football, but in the end the results are what counts.
What do you think… has Iceland got any chance at all in the FIFA World Cup?
- Do you want to know more about when Iceland will play in the World Cup? Check the full World Cup schedule here.
- Looking for a way to stream all the World Cup matches online? Check this article.