World Cup 2018: Group D Preview, Predictions and Best Bets…

Argentina

Runners up in Brazil four years ago, Argentina will be hoping their 40 years without lifting the famous trophy comes to an end in Russia. They undoubtedly have the individuals to challenge that cause, especially with their options going forward. Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero offer Argentina goals on demand and will pose a real danger for any nation. However constant questions will be asked defensively with their aging back line, having conceded six against Spain and four against Nigeria in recent friendlies.

Expect…exposure of their defensive frailties in the knockout rounds.

Key Player: Lionel Messi
Group Prediction: 1st
Stage of Elimination: Semi Final
Best Bet: To Reach the Quarter Final (8/11)
 
 
 

Iceland

World Cup debutants and the smallest nation ever to qualify, Iceland, will no doubt still be riding the wave of their triumph at Euro 2016. Having stunned England to reach the last eight in France two years ago, Iceland continued to overcome the odds during qualification for Russia having topped their group involving Croatia, Ukraine and Turkey. They have been dealt another tough task in Group D, especially facing Argentina in their opening game, but we’ve learnt not to underestimate Heimir Hallgrímsson’s men.

Expect…unbreakable team spirit and the return of the ‘Viking Thunderclap’.

Key Player: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Group Prediction: 3rd
Stage of Elimination: Group Stage
Best Bet: To Finish Third in Group D (7/4)
 
 


GroupA

 

Croatia

Croatia process some big names on paper, with the likes of Real Madrid’s Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic, Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic and Juve’s Mario Mandzukic. However they needed a playoff win over Greece to reach the finals and were the lowest scoring European nation of those travelling to Russia, scoring just 15 goals in 10 games. Zlatko Dalic’s side are capable of turning on the style when properly motivated and will know they are more than competent of heading into the last 16.

Expect…them to underwhelmingly find a way out of the group alongside Argentina.

Key Player: Luca Modric
Group Prediction: 2nd
Stage of Elimination: Last 16
Best Bet: Under 5.5 Tournament Goals (4/7)
 
 
 

Nigeria

Nigeria have named the youngest squad for this year’s finals, with an average age of 25 years and 336 days come June 14th. However their decision to trust in youth was proved the right one in qualification having secured their place with a game to spare despite being drawn with Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia. They are not short of players plying their trade in England with the likes of Chelsea’s Victor Moses, Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi, Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi as well as several ex-Premier League players. This will be their sixth appearance on the big stage, though are yet to make it further than the last 16.

Expect…fast attacks, lighting pace and plenty of talk about their exuberant jersey.

Key Player: Victor Moses
Group Prediction: 4th
Stage of Elimination: Group Stage
Best Bet: To Finish Bottom of Group D (7/5)
 
 


Group D Fixtures

 
June 16 | Argentina v Iceland (14:00)
June 16 | Croatia v Nigeria (20:00)

June 21 | Argentina v Croatia (19:00)
June 22 | Nigeria v Iceland (16:00)

June 26 | Nigeria v Argentina (19:00)
June 26 | Iceland v Croatia (19:00)
 
 

Group D Forecast

 

Group DProjected PointsWin GroupGroup Qualification
Argentina753%84%
Croatia528%60%
Iceland210%29%
Nigeria19%27%

 
 
World Cup 2018 Group Previews:

Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D | Group E | Group F | Group G | Group H

 
 

(Statistics, data and odds correct of date and time published).

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