11 June 2018

Nigeria: Russia 2018 - Everything You Need to Know About Nigeria's 'Group of Death'

Photo: The Guardian
All the Groups for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The wait is almost over for the 2018 FIFA World cup tournament with 32 countries preparing to battle it out for the most prestigious accolade in football.

The 2018 World Cup features some interesting match-ups across the eight groups and there are a number of groups that could be considered to merit the 'Group of Death' tag.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria is boxed in the 'Group of Death' in Russia, which features Argentina , Iceland , Croatia and Nigeria . Each team with varying degrees of sensational players which can help push for a top-two finish.

Nigeria

Nigeria, the first African team to qualify for the 2018 world cup, they have reached the last 16 of the tournament on three occasions, most notably at the last World Cup, where they qualified from a group that also contained Argentina.

FIFA Rank: #48

Manager: Gernot Rohr

Probable Formation: 3-5-2 to take advantage of a strong corps of wide attackers.

Argentina

The 1978 and 1986 World Cup winners, who were finalists at the last World Cup. Argentina has within their ranks one of the best players of all time, Lionel Messi alongside other talented players in their team. They are understandably favourites to top the group, but they will not have an easy run at it.

FIFA Rank: #5

Manager: Jorge Sampaoli

Probable Formation: Unclear, could be a 4-2-3-1 or 3 at the back with attacking wing backs.

Croatia

Croatia may not have achieved much at the World Cup since finishing third in 1998, but they are undoubtedly one of the best technical teams in Europe, equipped with players such as Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.

FIFA Rank: #20

Manager: Zlatko Dalic

Probable Formation: 4-3-3 to take advantage of a talented midfield; Mario Mandzukic is expected to lead the line.

Iceland

Iceland are competing in a World Cup for the first time in their history and they are not likely to reach the final, but they did finished ahead of Portugal in the group stage of Euro 2016. Indeed, they actually finished top of their World Cup qualification group, ahead of none other than Croatia.

FIFA Rank: #22

Manager: Heimir Hallgrimsson

Probable Formation: 4-2-3-1

Fixtures

Saturday June 16 - Argentina vs Iceland, 2pm, Otkrytie Arena, Moscow

Saturday June 16 - Croatia vs Nigeria, 8pm, Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad

Thursday June 21 - Argentina vs Croatia, 7pm, Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod

Friday June 22 - Nigeria vs Iceland, 4pm, Volgograd Arena, Volgograd

Tuesday June 26 - Iceland vs Croatia, 7pm, Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don

Tuesday June 26 - Nigeria vs Argentina, 7pm, Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg

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