In the second round of Group D fixtures, Nigeria take on Iceland in the Volgograd Stadium. This game may be a must-win game for both sides. Group D remains wide open after the first round of games. The victor of this game will enhance their chance of progression, whereas the loser will find themselves with a possibly unassailable mountain to climb.
Surprisingly, Iceland looked to be the stronger side after their opening game against group favourites Argentina. Their opponents dominated possession, however the resolute Icelandic defence, complimented by a dangerous counter-attack, gained the Scandinavians a well earned point. Iceland seem to have won the hearts of the general audience after this performance. Their gritty style of play plus their viral Viking Clap celebration has made them an attractive team to support for neutrals. Plus, who doesn’t love the underdog? In this upcoming game, Iceland will be looking to build on the promise they showed against the South Americans. A win here would vastly enhance their chances of progression, with Iceland currently sitting third in the Group D table.
Nigeria, on the other hand, have some serious work to do after their first game. Not only was the Kaliningrad crowd deprived of that lovely Nigeria primary strip, but they were also subjected to a sorry performance from the Super Eagles. Croatia outplayed the side in every respect, with Nigeria showing no desire to win- even from only one nil down. Nigeria now sit at rock-bottom in Group D, leaving them with much work to be done. The main fault of the team lay in their ineffective attacking force. Throughout the match, players such as Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi and Ahmed Musa looked about as threatening as a trio of puppies. Overall, it seemed that the team suffered from a lack of passion all over the pitch. However, in this respect, Iceland reflect the complete antithesis.
Personally, I think that Nigeria’s World Cup ends here, with defeat at the hands of Iceland. In their first game, the team clearly showed that they aren’t up to this standard of football. Quite simply, they will not be able to keep up with the Icelandic drive and passion. I predict a 2-0 win for the Scandinavians.