By 90Min
June 21, 2018

Nigeria will face against Iceland in Volgograd in Group D's second round of games on Friday.

Nigeria were below par in their opening 2-0 defeat to Croatia and they will have to avoid defeat if their World Cup campaign is to continue.

The Super Eagles looked devoid of ideas throughout the match and they were unable to create virtually anything to trouble the Croatian defence. In many respects it looked as though the occasion got the better of the players, and they will have to make sure they improve their level of performance massively on Friday.

Iceland on the other hand are coming off of the back of a well deserved 1-1 draw against group favourites Argentina, where they put in a typically resolute and organised performance.

 

Strákarnir okkar had two heroes in the match, striker Alfred Finnbogason who scored his sides equaliser and goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson who saved a Lionel Messi penalty. A win against Nigeria would put them in a brilliant position to qualify for the last 16.


World Cup Highlight

Despite being one of the biggest names in African football, Nigeria don't have a particularly rich history when it comes to World Cups. The Super Eagles have reached five separate tournaments and have subsequently qualified for the last 16 on three of those five occasions - but have never gone any further.

Their most impressive tournament was their first in 1994 where they replicated the surprise successes their African counterparts Cameroon had enjoyed four years earlier at Italia 90. Nigeria won two of their three group matches and were then beaten in extra time by eventual finalists Italy in the first knockout round.

Beate Mueller/GettyImages

If Nigeria's World Cup history is relatively unspectacular then Iceland's is literally non-existent.Their only highlight is being able to qualify for the 2018 tournament at all. They defied all the odds to top their European qualifying group ahead of their current Group D rivals Croatia, and became the smallest nation to ever qualify for the finals in the process.

They then one-upped this by holding two time champions Argentina to a draw in their first match. Who knows what highlights they can create if they can go deeper into the competition?


Recent Form

Recorded last six games:

Nigeria: LLLDLW


Iceland: DDLLLW


Team News

Nigeria have no reported injuries so manager Gernot Rohr will have a full squad to choose from. The only questions will be whether he decides to make any changes after his starting XI against Croatia failed to impress.

MLADEN ANTONOV/GettyImages

Iceland will be without Burnley's Johann Gudmundsson after he suffered a calf injury in the draw against Iceland. Rurik Gislason is expected to step in his place.


Predicted Line Ups


Nigeria (4-2-3-1): Uzoho, Idowu, Balogun, Ekon, Shehu, Etebo, Ndidi, Iwobi, Mikel, Moses, Ighalo


Iceland (4-4-1-1): Halldorsson, Magnusson, Sigurdsson, Arnason, Saevarsson, Bjarnson, Hallfredsson, Gunnarsson, Gislason, Sigurdsson, Finnbogason


Prediction


Group D is very open after the first set of results which means that both sides need to win in order to put themselves into at least second place in the group.

After their first round result, this may be the first time in their history that Iceland will not be coming into the match as the underdogs. Nigeria were dreadful against Croatia, and Iceland may not have to perform to the best of their abilities to get a result.

They will have a strict game plan for the match and it's very rare that their game plan fails. If Nigeria stand any chance, they will have to hope that their wingers Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi are firing on all cylinders.

Iceland may prove to be too much for the Super Eagles as they look to add another chapter to their incredible recent history.

Prediction: Nigeria 0-2 Iceland

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)