FIFA World Cup Preview Group D #172

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1. Winners: Argentina
This Argentina team is coming off a World Cup in which they lost in the final and two Coppa of America losses in a row to Chile both ending on penalties. The amount of talent this Argentina team has is astounding from top to bottom they are very talented I wouldn’t say they’re the most talented team in the world but they’re one of them. Nearly every single one of their players is playing for big teams. But during qualifying it didn’t look like they were even going to get here there was a near collapse in their qualifying group. It is tough in their region when they have the likes of Brazil Uruguay Columbia Chile and other decent teams. But you would have thought with their team they wouldn’t have a problem dealing with it like I said a very talented team. This talented team was on the verge of disaster as it took a hat-trick from the great Leo Messi to propel them to the tournament. New manager Jorge Sampaoli now has a massive job  in his hands. This is very much Messi’s team but he is joined by Di Maria Sergio Aguero Pablo Dybala Marco Icardi as well as many more. The talent is tremendous of this team it’s going to come down to the chemistry of them playing together which is not worked very well lately. This is going to be a difficult testing group for Argentina with Croatia Nigeria and Iceland all with good chance to qualify for the next round. If Argentina that gets off to a rocky start it could be trouble but I will not underestimate the greatness of Leo Messi he is one of the greatest players to ever touch a football pitch he’s not the same Barcelona Messi that we see week in and week out but his greatness should be enough for Argentina to qualify as winners. However I’m not sure they will make a super Deep Run at the World Cup title. but surely with the Talent they have they should see through this group as winners.

Manager: Jorge Sampaoli
Qualifying Place: 3rd in (CONMEBOL)
Key Player: Leo Messi, Barcelona
Last World Cup: 2014 Brazil, Runners Up

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2. Croatia: runners-up
Picking the runners up for this group was very difficult the magical Iceland decent Nigeria team and a Croatia team that made the round of 16 in the Euros Last Summer. I went over my head several times on who I thought would go through here it’s very tough but I’ve come to the conclusion I believe the Croatians will get out of this group. I believe it will come down to Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic in Midfield creating the opportunities for goals from their attack. I’m going to say this off the bat Croatia could win this group they have a more fearful attack than Argentina. The Croatians have other really strong components to the Midfield with Ivan Perisic Mateo kovacic Marcelo Brozovic that’s just a very strong unit without the strikers. Upfront this team is extremely dangerous with Mario Mandzukic as the main Striker we know how dangerous he can be he has scored in multiple Champions League finals and we all remember his overhead kick against Real Madrid in the  Champions League final  last year he is pure quality. I’m not sure how they will line up but if they play with two Strikers they also have Nicola Kalinic who has been one of the very few positive things about AC Milan season this year he knows where the goal is and with service he can put it in the back of the net. Their Midfield and attack is Untouchable in this group it’s going to come down to the defense while I don’t think they’re particularly bad in the defense it will plague them if they do not play at their best I don’t believe there are any world-class Defenders on Croatia. that is why I think they’re unlikely to win the group but on an attacking standpoint they are the best team on paper in this group. I think they have potential to go on a run in this year’s World Cup it will all depend on who they face going forward but this is a very strong team that surely can get through this group.

Manager: Zlatko Dalić
Qualifying Place: 2nd In Group I UEFFA 
Key Player: Luka Modric, Real Madrid  
Last World Cup: 2014 Brazil, Group

DON

Manager: Gernot Rohr
Qualifying Place:CAF Third Round Group B winners
Key Player: Victor Mosses, Chelsea  
Last World Cup: 2014 Brazil, Round Of 16

3. Nigeria
Nigeria is an interesting one in this group they can have moments of great brilliance like their 4-2 win over Argentina in and International Friendly despite being Argentina second team it still was a very impressive feat. Then will have games where they just can’t do anything right like in the recent 0-0 draw with Zimbabwe a team that’s not even in the World Cup. Victor Moses will be the biggest key to their success in this tournament he will control everything in the middle and without his hard work I don’t think Nigeria will be able to create much. And even in a situation where he’s brilliant they’re attacking options aren’t fabulous. Iheanacho and Ahmad Musa are there current Strikers and I suppose Alex Iwobi but I just don’t quite think he’ll be able to deliver on this stage. Iheanacho can find the back of the net when he was at Man City he had the highest goal to minute ratio in premier league history he can and is able to score on the biggest stage. that is what separates them from the bottom I think with Moses in the middle and Nacho as their goal scoring threat they both play well I can see them getting third but Croatia and Argentina have too much quality for them to get any higher. Much like Iceland this is a very unfortunate group for Nigeria to be in and I believe they’ll be heading home early in what will be looked at as a very disappointing World Cup despite the circumstances.

 

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4. Iceland
Although it would be very foolish of me to underestimate what Iceland can do as we saw their magic get them to Euro 16 quarter-final including defeating England. In what was their first ever tournament they have now qualified for another one football is a team game but you need star quality pull the strings in most cases. In Euro 2016 there were fortunate in their group unfortunately this is not the case this time around. I’m looking forward to the magic of Iceland and their famous Thunderclap but I’m not sure the magic will be enough this time. This is an amazing Triumph for Iceland making another tournament but in the great scheme of things I find it unlikely for them to get through. I think they will finish bottom as well I feel they will get points in his tournament they won’t end with 0. The problem is they’re going to have to rely on Sigurdsson far too much and although he was able to carry the load at Swansea City I’m not sure he’s going to be able to do it over an entire tournament because if he has a few bad games it could already be game over. I think that the difference separating Nigerian Iceland is Nigeria have some star quality I think they’re pretty similar terms of skill level but that 2% difference is going to be the difference between third and fourth. just being here is going to be an amazing moment for Iceland and their amazing fans but unfortunately it will end with then finishing bottom of the group.

Manager: Heimir Hallgrímsson               
Qualifying Place: UEFA Group I winners
Key Player: Gylfi Sigurdsson, Everton 
Last World Cup: N/A

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