Argentina vs. Iceland
|Date & Time||Saturday June 16, 2018, 9:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: Iceland +1278 / Argentina -300 / Draw +410 -- Over/Under: 2.5
Argentina and Iceland meet Saturday in the 2018 World Cup atthe Otkrytie Arena.
Argentina is in the World Cup for a 12th straight try and is probably the most motivated club to leave Russia with the trophy. It’s no secret that there’s pressure on Lionel Messi, the widely considered best player in the world, to win the World Cup for the first time, and at 30 years old, this is clearly his best chance to get the job done. With Messi on the field, the Albiceleste has a punchers chance to beat anybody in the field, as he takes over a game likely nobody else and takes pressure off of everybody else. While he gets a lot of the love, players such as Angel Di Maria, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain are more than proven and capable of beating the opposition as well. From a raw talent standpoint, Argentina probably has the best collection of goal scorers and an provide instant offense, so this club is never out of a match regardless of score. However, Argnetina does come into this match banged up, as Manuel Lanzini just tore his ACL and starting goalie Sergio Romero will miss the tournament with a knee injury.
Iceland heads into this tournament playing with house money, as it became the smallest nation by population to ever clinch a FIFA World Cup berth. And while its a feel good story, Iceland shouldn’t be slept on considering it almost qualified back in 2014 and made the quarterfinals of the UEFA European Championship. Iceland is an experienced bunch that plays together and has a ton of confidence every time it takes the field. There are 15 players on the current squad with at least 20 caps and only five players under the age of 25 years old. Iceland also has a potential star in Gylfi Sigurdsson, who showed flashes with Swansea City and Everton, and he has the ability to takeover a game here and there. Iceland isn’t afraid of the moment and plays with no pressure. However, at some point you have to question the depth and top tier talent of this unit, as passion and good effort can only get you so far.
There’s no previous meetings between these two sides.
I’m not the guy who lays heavy juice often and don’t shy away from underdogs. However, this line is rather cheap when you consider the gap in top tier talent between Argentina and Iceland. Yes, Iceland plays hard and together, and it won’t be intimidated by the names, but the bottom line is Iceland doesn’t have the horses to match the Albiceleste. When the talent gap is this wide, you often get insane prices for an outright victory, sometimes even in the thousands. This price isn’t too crazy, and we’re avoiding the tricky spread, asking them to win by two goals.
I’m taking Argentina in an outright win, as this is a somewhat reasonable price.