Dial D for Death. It’s what betting sites online would say about Group D of the World Cup. Which is arguably the closest there is to the dreaded “Group of Death.” There is always one. Argentina has the best odds of coming out alive. And in a group that also includes Croatia and Nigeria, you know Iceland got the crap end of the stick. Iceland has in fact always had a raw deal. To wit, their entry into the 1954 World Cup was not even accepted by FIFA. And now they get to pop their World Cup cherry against two-time winner Argentina. On the other hand, Argentina is also a three-time loser. And they were upset by Cameroon in their 1986 opener. All things considered, it may not go so bad for Iceland.
Even at their worst, the Argentinians have a lot going for them. Lionel Messi is arguably the best football player in the world. Some might even go as far as to say he’s the best player never to have won a World Cup. And in addition to Messi, Argentina is jam-packed with first class footballers. For example, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Javier Mascherano, Angel di Maria, and Paulo Dybala. And that’s just to mention a few. One thing they do have going against them, though, is the fact that they’re flaky. Why, they just cancelled a friendly against Israel in the Holy Land. And just because they didn’t want Palestinians to diss Messi like Sinead O’Connor dissed Pope John Paul II. Messi, who is the flakiest of the bunch. Who can’t win the big one. But group-wise, yes, they should coast through this one.
The Croatians are captained and led by Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric. Which is not necessarily a good thing. You see, he seems to be somewhat lacking in the moral fiber department. However, even if he does do time, it would most likely be after the World Cup. Which is good news for people backing Croatia at betting sites online. Modric’s henchmen in the national football team include Mateo Kovacic, Ivan Rakitic and Marcelo Brozovic. And we don’t mean “henchmen” in any criminal sense of the word. Because in that case we would have also mentioned Dejan Lovren. Croatia has not made it past the group stage in three outings since 1998. That bodes well for Nigeria’s and Iceland’s chances.
Nigeria has been the Washington Generals to Argentina’s Globetrotters. Nigeria has been drawn in the group stage with Argentina in four of its first five World Cup appearances. The Africans have by no means embarrassed themselves against the South Americans. They also have yet to pick up the W, though. But even the Generals have, albeit by mistake, beat the Globetrotters at least once. Could the time be ripe for Nigeria to finally beat Argentina? No, according to most betting sites online. All things considered, though, even another loss to the Argentinians would not necessarily preclude the Africans from winning the group.
Iceland is the little national football team that could. They became the smallest ever nation to qualify for a major tournament when they made it to the Euro 2016. There, they reached the quarterfinals. And on 9 October 2017, Iceland became the smallest nation by population to ever clinch a FIFA World Cup berth. And they did it by winning their group no less. More to the point, Iceland already owns a victory over Croatia. Both teams split wins, but Iceland hit last. That’s gotta count for something, psychologically speaking.