Iceland – Three World Cup stars to look out for in Russia 2018

Tough group campaign ahead

Odds of 300/1 tell us everything we need to know about the chances of Iceland at this summer’s World Cup but there wouldn’t have been too many punters expecting anything better. The qualifying campaign suggests they are bigger than they perhaps should be, but this is where things get serious.

Iceland have been drawn in Group D with Argentina, Nigeria and Croatia so will have to work hard for any bit of luck that comes their way. Traders have them priced as 1/6 favourites to head home after three matches and that’s a strong opinion. Heimir Hallgrimsson’s side were beaten 3-1 by Peru and 3-0 Mexico in the build-up which doesn’t fill backers with confidence.

A hard-working side you won’t find many stars in the squad but there is plenty of talent. Here’s three that’ll play a part in any success Iceland have in June and July…..

Sigurdsson to make a statement

Alfred Finnbogason

Chalked up as favourite to finish as top goal scorer for his country at the World Cup with Bet Victor offering 10/3 and it’s difficult to argue against that stance. The 29-year-old striker has certainly been about during his career, playing for no less than nine teams including Heerenveen, Real Sociedad and current employers FC Augsburg where he netted 15 goals in his first 32 games.

Hasn’t been shy in chipping in on the international stage either since making his debut for the senior squad in 2010 with his current tally standing at 11 goals in 45 call-ups. Hasn’t been on target for a while but does arrive in form having scored four club goals in four games. Must show that confidence in game one vs Argentina on Saturday 16th June, live on ITV from 2.00pm.

Gylfi Sigurdsson

Big things were expected of Gylfi Sigurdsson following his move from Swansea to Everton last summer for a whopping transfer fee of £45m but he didn’t have the best of debut seasons at Goodison Park with The Toffees ending down in eighth despite splashing the cash. An improved effort is expected this year by all at the club. Sigurdsson did show flashes of his ability including a strike earlier this year in a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.

Having represented his country at every level from Under 17 through to the senior squad he will be one of the first names on manager Hallgrimsson’s team-sheet and will be asked to sure up the midfield and help get the team forward on the counter. Scored 18 in his first 55 international games and is 10/3 joint-fav to be the team’s leading scorer.

Kari Arnason

A man who will be asked to lend a hand at the opposite end of the park. At 35 years old this will be Arnason’s farewell to major international football, but he’ll be keen to win some game time and go out on a high. Following a successful season in the Scottish Premiership with Aberdeen where The Dons held on to second place behind Celtic he’s a form player who will be given the nod.

Arnason and his fellow defenders are set for a tough job during their involvement but Kari brings a cool head and plenty of big match experience having played in a number of European matches as well as 65 times for his country. The 6ft 3inch centre-back is reliable in defence but also poses a goal scoring threat at set-pieces, netting against Motherwell in April.

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