Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Messi to put heat on Iceland as France target Australia

FBL-WC-2018-ARG-TRAINING Messi to put heat on Iceland as France target Australia
Stacy Diaz | 16 June, 2018, 16:13

Sampaoli, however, insisted he was not underestimating Iceland, the tiny nation playing at its first World Cup.

"We know Iceland's main man, their captain (Aron Gunnarsson), is recovering from injury but they play well as a group and I'm sure it's going to be very tough against them".

Find All World Cup 2018 Schedule For Week 1, Fixtures, Start Time, Venue, TV Listing and More! "There are a lot of romantic things in our heads now we start to play Argentina".

Iceland have a number of familiar names in their ranks after catching the eye in Euro 2016, including Gylfi Sigurdsson, Gudmundsson and Gunnarsson.

Iceland have qualified for their first World Cup and their second major tournament after Euro 2016 where they reached the quarter-finals.

Hello and welcome to the live coverage of FIFA World Cup 2018 match between 2014 finalists and two time-champions Argentina, and World Cup debutants Iceland.

Argentina have gone past the first round in 11 of their last 12 World Cup appearances, the only exception coming in 2002.

Also joining Messi at a fourth World Cup is teammate Javier Mascherano, who had his 34th birthday last week.

Lionel Messi's Argentina will underestimate Iceland at their peril, coach Heimir Hallgrimsson warned on Friday, saying the minnows are ready to spring another surprise in Russian Federation.

I have gone for Argentina to beat Iceland.

After scoring seven of Argentina's 19 goals in qualifying, including a hat-trick to clinch their place in Russian Federation, the Barca forward remains pivotal to the Albiceleste's hopes of winning the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

Meanwhile, fellow attackers Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala-who racked up 79 goals between them for their clubs last season-have netted just four times for Argentina between them since the 2016 Copa America. The former Sevilla boss is now charged with managing one of the most gifted attacking sides in the tournament and will be looking to strike a balance in the side which could see them go one step further of losing 2010 final and winning a third World Cup. Argentina are 9/1 to win the tournament, whereas Iceland stand at a hefty 250/1.