Group D contains arguably the trickiest group of the tournament with Argentina, Croatia, Nigeria and Iceland.
There’s plenty of goals to be had in a very dangerous attacking group!
Starting off with the surprise package of the euro 2016 tournament, Iceland. Their first eleven has decent chemistry and they have a couple of standout players but the twelth man that is the viking chant will be enough to loom over the other teams in this group. Iceland will be looking to the expertise of Gylfi Sigurdsson to not only provide goals himself but set up goals for his Icelandic team mates, the Everton midfielder possesses an excellent delivery of the ball and bags goals aswell.
Down the right flank is Johann Gudmonsson, he had a brilliant season with Burnley and provided vital assists and scored a few goals which carried a very unlikely Burnley side to their first ever European competition qualifcation.
Iceland’s chances rely purely on their attacking outlets and they will have plenty of high scoring games, they’ll definitely provide good games for the neutral.
Predicted group finish: 3rd
Moving down the globe to African side Nigeria who have played some fantastic games coming into this World Cup notching up high scoring wins against the likes of Argentina. Their speedy, youthful side with the likes of Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses and Arsenal prospect Alex Iwobi will look to flourish with their European experience, all taking parts in the Champions or Europa league this year and having big game experience. The attacking outlets arent the only quality of this Nigerian side aren’t the only positive with the defensive skills of John Obi Mikel and Wilifed Ndidi to cover the multiple attacking threats that they possess. The alarming issue with Nigeria is their defensive trio, this back three will struggle to contain the world class forwards that they’re going to oppose in this group, it’ll just be a matter of whether the attacking players will carry them through.
Predicted group finish: 4th
South American giants Argentina are going to be hoping for a successful tournament with a very attacking minded manager of Jorge Sampaoli who plays some controversial formations including a 2-3-3-2 with only 2 centre backs of normally Otamendi and Fazio. This style of play could potentially be very hit and miss but in a group where they’ll likely be on the front foot the whole time it shouldnt prove much of a hinderance in the group stage, at least. Lionel Messi will be looking to add a World Cup trophy to his already huge trophy collection and the diminuitive winger will be wanting to bag plenty of goals for his country. The other attacking options are by no means a walk over with players such as Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Angel di Maria and up and coming youngster Giovanni Lo Celso. The football that is expected from the Argies will be nothing less than world class, with the attacking arsenal they have they could prove to be one of the teams to watch for the whole tournament. In the betting markets a bet on Argentina to win the group would be advised which is currently a short price of 8/13 with bet365.
Predicted group finish: 1st
The last team of Group D are Croatia, a side which is improved tenfold over the previous decade or so with some fantastic players with the likes of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic running the midfield. The La Liga duo play for the big Barcelona and Real Madrid sides who are consistently a huge threat in European competitions and their defensive balance is absolutely vital for both sides. Croatia’s defensive is nothing to turn your nose up at with Daniel Subasic in goal, the Monaco goalkeeper has been fantastic in Monaco’s rise through the French leagues and Europe. Mario Mandzukic has been a fantastic goalscoring threat up top for Croatia, with the consistent heading ability and is still fantastic with the ball at his feet.
The threat of Croatia is going to be fantastic and they’re always a great team to watch with outlets in all directions. They could be a direct threat to Argentina despite the Argies being the pick for this group.
Predicted group finish: 2nd
Example group standings:
1st: Argentina :9 Points
2nd: Croatia :4 Points
3rd: Iceland :2 Points
4th: Nigeria :1 Point