All about the Iceland Team at Football World Cup 2018
The 2018 FIFA World Cup fever is on, and everybody has their own favourite team. The latest odds favour the current reigning champions Germany over the crowd favourite Brazil. Here’s a look at another exciting but debutant team, Iceland. The Iceland team has never been in a major tournament before Euro 2016. In fact, Iceland has created history by becoming the smallest ever nation to reach the World Cup. Check out all the interesting details about their group draws, line-up, team breakdown and formation, along with an insight into the style and techniques of their best players. Here is a comprehensive guide on the best line of action to be taken for betting on Iceland.
Tips for Betting on Iceland in the World Cup 2018
The Iceland team has performed exceptionally well in the qualifying rounds by topping a formidable group that included Croatia, Turkey, Ukraine, Finland, and Kosovo to directly qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. They have a strong defence and have allowed only 7 goals by opponents during the qualifying rounds.
Iceland is part of a group which is considered to be the most interesting and most competitive by experts. Argentina and Croatia seem to be the strongest teams in the group draw. Team Argentina, led by Lionel Messi has many world class players and is the overwhelming favourite to win the first game against Iceland. Even though the Iceland team has proved to be very tough, they are outclassed by Argentina at all levels in the field. With their amazing confidence, they still have their chances against Argentina if Lionel Messi fails to perform as per expectation. In spite of having some really talented individual players, Argentina struggled to perform in their qualifying rounds and managed to scrape through only because of the Messi magic.
Croatia has a better head-to-head record with Iceland, but Iceland had won their most recent encounter in the qualifiers. Both the teams have a defensive approach. Croatia has a slight advantage over Iceland as they are technically better and would be all charged up to avenge their earlier loss. A draw seems to the most probable option in this case, but a win by Croatia is also possible.
Nigeria is one of the best teams from Africa, and they have been performing very consistently. Both Nigeria and Iceland have a defensive line-up and are expected to give each other stiff competition. According to experts, Iceland has a slight edge over Nigeria, but the outcome is difficult to predict and in most probability would be a draw. Iceland is also ranked higher than Nigeria in the FIFA ranking.
Iceland’s main strength is not any one of its star players but the team’s amazing unity and spirit. Their current run proves that they are as good as any other top team at the World Cup. They are surely looking to top their UEFA Euro 2016 performance. It is realistic to expect Iceland to reach the last 16. One win could be enough to claim third place in the group, and their record in qualification shows that it is very much possible.
Regarding yellow cards, the team has been very cautious and has managed to keep a clean sheet in their qualifying rounds and is expected to continue doing so. Iceland’s superlative performance till now has made it attractive to bet on them. A lot of bookies will be offering comprehensive betting options for Iceland. Look out for some outstanding deals, and before betting, compare betting odds by bookmakers on outright wins, individual goals scored, yellow cards, corners, etc. The odds will be revised frequently as the tournament advances.
Betting Odds on Iceland to Win the World Cup 2018
The Iceland team, the heroes of Euro 2016, are in Group D for the FIFA World Cup 2018 group matches along with Argentina, Croatia, and Nigeria. Currently, their FIFA ranking is 21. They made it to Russia in style by topping Group I qualification group. They trounced Turkey 3-0 and Kosovo 2-0 in the last qualifiers. Argentina is obviously the favourite to win in their group, and Croatia comes second. Argentina, one of the top contenders to win the trophy, has an outright odd to win at 8/1, compared to Iceland’s 200/1. Going by their performance in the qualifying rounds, the Iceland team has a better chance of winning than what the odds suggest.
Expected Iceland Lineup at the World Cup
Iceland’s coach Heimir Hallgrimsson, who is a part-time dentist, had to carefully pick his squad from a modest pool of players due to Iceland’s small population. This has resulted in a team whose members rarely change and which in turn has helped in forging some real close friendships within the team. This bond has resulted in a unique, well organised and unified team with amazing team spirit. The team really enjoys playing on the large stage.
The Iceland team will continue to count on their very talented and dependable set of central midfielders Aron Gunnarsson and Everton star Gylfi Sigurdsson. Aron Gunnarsson is the captain of the team. The excellent partnership between both the central midfielders has proven to be a crucial factor in Iceland’s success. The other top players in the team are Birkir Bjarnason and Johann Gudmundsson. Sigurdsson and Gudmundsson had scored a goal each in their last qualifying mast against Kosovo. Goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson has been in excellent form and is expected to continue the good run.
The last line-up of players from the qualifiers include Hannes Halldorsson, Ingvar Jonsson, Ogmundur Kristinsson, Hordur Magnusson, Birkir Sævarsson, Haukur Heidar Hauksson, Sverrir Ingason, Elmar Bjarnason, Holmar Eyjolfsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Ari Skulason, Arnor Ingvi Traustason, Runar Mar Sigurjonsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Emil Hallfredsson, Kari Arnason, Aron Gunnarsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Vidar Orn Kjartansson, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Alfred Finnbogason, Johann Gudmundsson, and Heimir Hallgrimsson.
The Iceland team has carefully formulated a 4-4-2 defensive formation, giving a lot of scope to its dynamic midfielders. The strategy has been very effective in the qualifying rounds with outstanding contribution from the central midfielders Aron Gunnarsson and Gylfi Sigurdsson. This has been the team’s favoured approach since 2012, and it also ensures equal contribution from all the team members. Persisting with the formation has been rewarding, and it bore results in a year.
Over the years, after trying out various roles on the field, Sigurdsson has evolved into an exceptionally skilled and attacking player who takes advantage of the smallest opportunity. He has settled into a very effective partnership with the more defensive and resilient Gunnarsson. Gunnarsson’s sense of timing and ability to find gaps is phenomenal. The combined force of Sigurdsson and Gunnarsson has worked out beautifully for Iceland.
Striker Birkir Bjarnason is another gifted player from Iceland who is equally good on both wings. He is joined on the other wing by forwards like Johann Gudmundsson and Emil Hallfredsson. Gudmundsson plays an attacking role and is very precise with his footwork even from a huge distance while Hallfredsson is the perfect defensive alternative. Alfred Finnbogason provides good backup support to keep things going.
Iceland has a very efficient, experienced and well-oiled defence team comprising of Ragnar Sigurdsson and Kari Arnason. Sigurdsson is extremely cool, and his knowledge of the game is impressive. He has been the most important member of Iceland’s defence layer. Ari Skulason is another match winner who plays an offensive full-back role. He has a lethal left foot which comes into play when he occasionally adorns the role of a midfielder. Goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson is the solid anchor who effortlessly manages to be a hero when the situation demands it.
Make way for the Vikings! Along with the people of that country, the eyes of the world will be on Iceland to see what it can achieve in the World Cup. Here is a good look at the players who made that happen. Although there are many exceptional players in this inspired team, we’ll be listing only a couple of them.
The most exciting player in the entire line-up is Gylfi Sigurdsson. He is Iceland’s player of the year for the last five years. He is an ace midfielder who can create and score spectacular goals. He was the team’s top scorer in Russia 2018 qualifying. He is also the iconic No.10 in the team. Sigurdsson epitomises Iceland’s team-centred approach. He always plays for the team and is one of the best two-way midfield players in the game. He excels in long-range shooting and is a threat to the other teams. His work ethics, and willingness to defend when required is irreplaceable.
Aron Einar Gunnarson
Aron Einar Gunnarson, the captain of the Iceland team, is a midfielder who can also play at right back. He has a more defensive approach than Sigurdsson. He is a tough player who relies upon excellent positioning to come up with winners. His excellent skill in captaincy has championed Iceland into the FIFA World Cup 2018.
Another fantastic player to watch out for is Birkir Bjarnason. This midfielder works really hard and doesn’t mind abandoning personal goals for the benefit of the team. He owns excellent techniques and has a great penchant for creating goals. He was one of the key players who put up a fantastic performance at UEFA Euro 2016 for Iceland. He accomplished the distinction of scoring the first ever goal for his country in a major tournament by scoring the equalizer against Portugal in their first group match of UEFA Euro 2016.