Group D is one of the interesting groups in World Cup 2018 as all four members are expected to fight it out for top two places.
South American powerhouse Argentina are obvious favourites to qualify, but there will an interesting battle between Croatia, Nigeria and Iceland for the second spot.
Here’s a little glimpse on all four sides from the group.
Argentina were the losing finalists in Brazil, and they are once again among the favourites to win the cup. The South American side have a wealth of talent in attack, but they have struggled in defence. Qualification was not a comfortable process, and they almost missed out on a spot in World Cup.
However, with talents like Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuaín and Angel di Maria, Argentina are well capable of beating any side on their day. Messi has lost his last three finals on the international stage, and this World Cup could be his last. The Barcelona star will be desperate to finally taste success on the international stage.
Argentina are available at 8/11 odds to win the group and at 3/19 odds to qualify to the next round.
There is no dearth of talent in the Croatia squad. The likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mateo Kovacic, Dejan Lovren, Sime Vrsalijko, Mario Mandzukic and Nikola Kalinić are expected to adorn the red and white check jersey in Russia.
However, Croatia have been underwhelming at World Cup this century, and they have bowed out in the group stage in their last three attempts. Coincidentally, they were grouped along with Iceland in their qualifying group too, and they finished in the second spot behind the Nordic island. In the playoffs, Croatia registered a 4-1 aggregate win over Greece to book a spot in Russia.
Nevertheless, Croatia are second favourites to win their group in the betting market at 13/5 odds. They are available at 4/7 odds to qualify to the next round.
Iceland are relative newcomers on the international stage, but they have already become neutral’s favourites following their heroics in Euro Cup. The island nation defeated England on their way to quarterfinals on their debut in the continental competition. Now, they are set to make their first appearance at World Cup. In the qualification, Iceland won their group ahead of European regulars such as Croatia, Turkey and Ukraine. In a short span of time, Iceland have become a force to reckon with, and we expect them to cause to an upset or two.
Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson is the most recognizable name in the squad. FC Augsburg striker Alfreð Finnbogason and Burnley winger Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson are also coming on the back of impressive seasons with their respective clubs.
Iceland are available at 4/1 odds to qualify to the next round and at 2/7 odds to crash out in the group stage.
Nigeria are making their sixth appearance at World Cup. Since their debut in 1994, the Super Eagles have missed out on only one World Cup – in 2006.
Nigeria managed to make it to the last-16 in 2014, but they find themselves in a trickier group this time. However, they have recently defeated Argentina 4-2 in a friendly. A repeat of that performance in Russia would most certainly guarantee them a place in the last-16. Nigeria finished ahead of the likes of Zambia, Cameroon and Senegal to win their qualifying group
The Nigerian squad consists of various current and former Premier League stars such as John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi, Ahmed Musa, Odion Ighalo and Kelechi Iheanacho.
The Super Eagles are available at 11/4 odds to qualify and at 8/5 odds to finish bottom of the group.
Argentina to win the group at 8/11 odds.
Nigeria to not qualify at 1/3 odds.