Lionel Messi’s Argentina kick start their World Cup adventure against an inspiring Iceland side on Saturday as the South American giants will look for a winning start to their campaign.
Match Details: Argentina vs Iceland
Date: 16th June
Time: 18.30 IST
Venue: Otkritie Arena, Moscow
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland)
Sergio Romero’s injury means Willy Caballero will start at the goal for the Argentines and going with their four men back line. Jorge Sampaoli may put a two men defensive midfield and go with a 4-2-3-1 formation. Aguero is expected to start as lone striker and Messi will play the number 10 role.
Iceland were boosted by the return to full fitness of their talisman Gylfi Sigurdsson, who recovered from a serious injury to take his place in the squad. Heimir Hallgrimsson has brought a respectable squad to Russia, with the likes of Augsburg’s Alfred Finnbogason and Burnley’s Johann Berg Gudmundsson providing much needed solidarity and experiece in the squad. Halldorsson at their goal will have a huge job as well as he will have to stop the flurry of South American attacks.
Argentina, the last World Cup Finalists will be hoping to do a step better this term and Jorge Sampaoli has some serious talents in his squad. The Albicelestes made it to the finals after a Messi inspired show against Ecuador in the Qualifiers and will be aiming to top their group. Although it is a competitive group as there are Croatia and Nigeria in the group as well.
Dybala and Higuain at Argentina training
Iceland are the weakest side on paper but the World Cup debutants are no shortage of heart and will be aiming to repeat their EURO 2016 feat. They also finished ahead of Croatia in the qualifiers and it will be foolish to rule them out already. The players of the tiny nation will be up for some good adventure in the biggest stage of football.
Probable Line Up:
Iceland Line Up
Betting Odds: (via bet365)
The match will be telecast live on SONY TEN 2 from 18.30 IST on Saturday for the Indian viewers.