As we edge ever closer to the start of the World Cup we will be previewing every group. This article will Preview Group D involving; Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Iceland. Argentina have won the competition on two occasions on the other hand, Iceland are taking part in their first ever World Cup campaign.
Now let’s get into the players that may be making their way into your fantasy team…
The two time winners will certainly be looking to make that three especially as this may be their star man, Lionel Messi’s last World Cup. Messi is the first player from Argentina that will be highlighted as a must have. There’s not much more that can be said to describe Messi’s ability and in this group he will thrive. He may be expensive but he should be value for money considering his great record in the Argentinian shirt.
The other Argentine is Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi. He was a great asset to many FPL managers last season and he could become one in the World Cup. He would bring goals to your defence which is vital for your team and his clean sheets should be intact with the teams he’s playing and the calibre of the team he is in.
23-man squad: Sergio Romero, Willy Caballero, Franco Armania; Gabriel Mercardo, Cristian Ansaldi, Nicolas Otamendi, Federico Fazio, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico, Marcos Acuna, Javier Mascherano, Eduardo Salvio, Lucas Biglia, Giovani Lo Celso, Ever Banega, Manuel Lanzini, Maximiliano Meza, Angel Di Maria, Cristian Pavon, Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero.
As above mentioned Iceland will be taking part in their first World Cup and the Icelandic faithful will be looking to replicate the outstanding Euro 2016 campaign that saw them knock out England. Their star player is based in England, Gylfi Sigurdsson hasn’t had the greatest of Premier League season, but the Everton midfielder will definitely turn up when in an Iceland shirt. He will seemingly be on free kick duties which is always good for fantasy football potential.
The second Iceland player is another England based player, Aron Gunnarsson who was promoted with Cardiff this season. He will be at the heart of the midfield and should be a cheap option as a fourth or fifth midfielder. Interestingly he has a huge throw in him which England found out, so he could always produce an assist from them which is very useful points. The only worrying thing for Sigurdsson and Gunnarsson is that they will be on the back foot for a lot of the time so they may not be able to flourish as much as they’d like to.
23-man squad: Hannes Thor Halldorsson, Runar Alex Runarsson, Frederik Schram; Kari Arnason, Ari Freyr Skulason, Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Sverrir Ingi Ingason, Hordur Magnusson, Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson; Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Birkir Bjarnason, Arnor Ingvi Traustason, Emil Hallfredsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Olafur Ingi Skulason, Rurik Gislason, Samuel Fridjonsson, Aron Gunnarsson; Alfred Finnbogason, Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Albert Gudmundsson.
Croatia are about to begin their fifth campaign at a World Cup, but it will be difficult for them to match their best ever finish. The European nation came third in 1998, but they do have some quality players that could shock the world and produce something similar. The first of which is Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric who has already won a trophy this year with the Champions League. He has been a crucial player for both Croatia and Real Madrid for years now and could help guide them to a very respectable World Cup campaign.
Mario Mandzukic will be leading the line for Croatia and certainly not for the first time. He has 82 caps for his country scoring a magnificent 30 goals in the process. The Croatian plays his football in Italy with Juventus where he’s bagged 22 goals in 92 games, but has found game time hard to come by as of late. He will bring power to the side and should be a good option to your Fantasy World Cup sides.
23-man squad: Danijel Subasic, Lovre Kalinic, Dominik Livakovic, Vedran Corluka, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic, Dejan Lovren, Sime Vrsaljko, Josip Pivaric, Tin Jedvaj, Duje Caleta-Car, Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mateo Kovacic, Milan Badelj, Marcelo Brozovic, Filip Bradaric, Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Nikola Kalinic, Andrej Kramaric, Marko Pjaca, Ante Rebic.
Nigeria are one of the most exciting young sides around at the moment. The squad oozes potential which is music to the ears of Fantasy World Cup managers. 7 of the 23 Nigerians play their football in England’s top flight so you should be familiar with them. Alex Iwobi has been in and around the Arsenal team for years now and will be an important player in the Nigerian team. He scored in their 2-1 defeat to England in a pre-tournament friendly proving that he does have goals in him.
Another player who has goals in him is former Watford striker Odion Ighalo who now earns the big bucks in the Chinese League. Ighalo had a memorable season in 2016/17 FPL the season and if he replicates that form he could become a nice option as a third striker. There are question marks however as to who will play up top for Nigeria, however as Ighalo started at Wembley so he is more than likely their favoured forward.
23-man squad: Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi, William Troost-Ekong, Abdullahi Shehu, Tyronne Ebuehi, Elderson Echiejile, Brian Idowu, Chidozie Awaziem, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo, John Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu, Joel Obi, Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi, Simeon Nwankwo.
Argentina should walk this group with 9 points from their three games. Croatia are favourites to sneak 2nd place ahead of Nigeria with Iceland sitting bottom of the group. The ability of the Argentine’s will overpower the group and the fairy-tale of Iceland may sadly end with a bottom place finish. Croatia and Nigeria will be tight, but the Croatians may should come away victorious.
Written by, Harry Clark (@HarryClark67)