Nigeria vs. Iceland: Team News, Live Stream, TV Info for World Cup 2018
Iceland’s players attend a training session at Olimp Stadium in Kabardinka on June 17, 2018, during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. (Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP) (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/Getty Images
Iceland could take a major step towards qualification for the knockout stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a win over Nigeria on Friday.
The Super Eagles came into the tournament in dreadful form and didn’t improve in their opener, losing 2-0 against Croatia. Iceland, meanwhile, held Group D favourites Argentina to a draw to give themselves a great chance for qualification.
Here’s a look a head at the contest.
Date: Friday, June 22
Start Time: 6 p.m. local time/4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. ET
Venue: Volgograd Arena, Volgograd, Russia
TV Info/Live Stream: BBC (UK)/Fox (U.S.)
According to WhoScored.com, both teams will start the match at full health and with no suspensions. That means new Brighton & Hove Albion defender Leon Balogun is likely to start again for Nigeria, and there should be no surprises for Iceland after their great showing against Argentina. Can Iceland Dictate Play Against Nigeria?
The Super Eagles lost four of their last five matches heading into the World Cup, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to see them struggle against Croatia.
The harsh truth is Nigeria simply aren’t that good―they have bags of young talent, but key youngsters such as Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho need more time to develop.
The 2018 World Cup came a little too soon for the Super Eagles, but they will be a force to be reckoned with in the near future.
Iceland, on the other hand, are in the midst of a golden age for the national team, and they have relished the role of underdogs for years and do a great job of countering from a solid organisation.
But they’re starting to shed the label of underdog, as the World Cup’s official Twitter account pointed out:
Nigeria are at their best in open space, and they will likely try to play for those openings, employing a lower defensive line. It’s something Iceland are generally not used to seeing, and the opposite of what they faced against Argentina.
Iceland’s qualification will likely depend on the result of their final group match against Croatia, but the Vatreni’s tactics could come down to how their future opponents look against Nigeria. Like the Super Eagles, Croatia have a ton of athleticism―they will not be afraid to sit back and counter if that’s something the island nation struggles with.