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Iceland Hopes to Continue Glorious International Run Vs Nigeria

Iceland picked up where it left off from Euro 2016 and continues to capture the hearts of football spectators and bettors alike. The draw with Argentina closed at +350, a tidy little payday, to be sure. Nigeria was outclassed by a very good looking Croatian side (they played well too) and will be hungry for points against a formidable and well-supported Icelandic squad.

Bovada currently has Iceland as the narrow favorite in moneyline markets at +170 with Nigeria coming back at +175 and the draw sitting at +210. Totals shape up like this: OVER 2 is priced at -120 while the UNDER is sitting at EVEN.

SHARK BITES
  • Iceland had 21 successful tackles and 23 interceptions vs Argentina.
  • Nigeria had 14 shots but just two on net vs Croatia.
  • There have been UNDER 2.5 goals scored in 5 of Iceland’s last 6 World Cup games (includes qualification).

ICELAND BRINGS THE HEAT

Gylfi Sigurdsson and his squad sent one or more men to the ball just about every time the Argentines were in possession, picking them off 23 times and getting a bunch of quality tackles in along the way. Argentina possessed the footwork in tight to contend with those tactics often, but I fear that pressure could be the Nigerians’ undoing.

The sole Iceland tally was a direct result of the press, and if not for a glaring miss from Birkir Bjarnason, that tireless harassment could have produced a winner for them. Nigeria has the personnel to get the ball up the field quickly and they should match up better physically than their South American counterparts but this will be a battle for the full 90.

NIGERIA NEEDs A HERO

Nigeria had 14 attempts at the Croatian goal, with Ighalo, Iwobi and Moses getting three each. Unfortunately, they only put two on net. Moses had a decent game and the Chelsea man will be important if they hope to advance from this very difficult group.

Alex Iwobi and Odion Ighalo will need to be much better. Iwobi in particular looked frustrated early and if the Croatians had him feeling that way, Iceland will surely have him unraveled in a hurry.

THE PLAY

Iceland is a minimal scoring threat at best with their last five World Cup games going UNDER 2.5 goals and I think Nigeria’s scoring woes will continue in this fixture. This will be a clogged-up mess in the middle for the vast majority of the game and that is exactly how Iceland likes it.

This game looks like a 1-0 or 1-1 finish to me and I love the value on the draw but I’ll be taking the alternate total at UNDER 2.5 at -185. Iceland draw-no-bet at -120 is as close as I want to get to taking one of these wild-card teams.

Bet on the 2018 World Cup here