Thu, May 31, 7:43am by Staff Writer
Group D of the 2018 FIFA World Cup features perennial South American contenders Argentina, as well as the tiny European nation of Iceland, Balkan giants and World Cup regulars Croatia and the Super Eagles from Nigeria.
Argentina are $11 to win the World Cup behind the likes of Germany ($5.50), Brazil ($5.50), Spain ($6.50) and France ($7), with the Argentines drawn in a tough half of the draw that will most likely feature Spain, Portugal and France in the knockout stages.
Group D is one of the more competitive groups in the preliminary stages, although Argentina are expected to progress with ease, at $1.12 at Sportsbet to qualify for the knockout rounds.
Having won the World Cup twice, in 1978 and 1986, Argentina are participating in their twelfth consecutive World Cup. They did struggle at times during qualification, managing to beat Ecuador 3-1 on the final day of qualification away in Quito to stamp their ticket to Russia.
Possessing one of the most talented squads at the World Cup, Argentina are $1.67 to top Group D. Their team features one of the worlds best playres in Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, as well as Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain up front, joined by Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero.
It is hard to find a weakness in the Argentinian team across the park, with the likes of Angel di Maria and Javier Mascherano in the midfield and Nicolas Otamendi in defence.
They will be a tough team to beat in Group D, as they face Iceland before matches against Croatia and Nigeria.
Boasting a population of just over 300,000 people, Iceland are the feel-good story of the 2018 World Cup.
After first coming onto the scene in major tournaments at the 2016 European Championship eliminated England in the knockout rounds, they sealed qualification for Russia by topping Group I ahead of Croatia and Ukraine.
Iceland are $201 outsiders to win the World Cup, but are not without a chance of qualifying from Group D, priced at $2.88. An unlikely finish at the top of the group is paying $8.
Iceland draw their players from a number of Europe’s leagues, with Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson perhaps their most high profile player. Augsburg’s Alfred Finnbogason has been a revelation in the Bundesliga this year scoring 12 goals in 22 appearances.
Iceland will not fear the challenge of Croatia having beaten them once in group I action in the qualifiers.
The Croatian team are fancied to progress to knockout rounds at $1.45, with the Balkan team $3.10 to top group D.
Their biggest test will be against Argentina in their second game on June 22 in Nizhny Novgorod, with their World Cup commencing against Nigeria.
Croatia is littered with talent across the park, with none more famous than Real Madrid’s Luka Modric. Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic and Juventus’ Mario Mandzukic are just some of the star-studded talent the team possesses.
Their best finish at a World Cup was third place in France 1998 and they are certainly an outsider worth consider at $34.
Participating in their third World Cup in a row, Nigeria breezed through group B of African qualification but will have a far tougher task in group D at the World Cup.
They are firm outsiders at $3.75 to progress to the knockout rounds and $11 to top the group.
The Super Eagles’ most high profile players are Chelsea’s Victor Moses and Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho, with their team sure to dazzle with their mix of speed and skill throughout the tournament.
Suggested Bet- Croatia to win group D at $3.10
Group D Winner
To qualify from Group D
Argentina $1.40 Draw $4.20 Iceland $8.50
Croatia $1.72 Draw $3.40 Nigeria $5
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