World Cup Finals Group D Predictions by Dan Smith
Arsenal have no players in this Group…
This year’s dark horses? Dark horses as most football logic would suggest they can’t win the World Cup. Logic such as most teams with an average defence don’t win major tournaments, how they played in qualification and that their new manager has not had as long as he would’ve liked to put across his ideas and philosophy. What makes them the exception to the rule is the Messi factor. He is that good that he could take it one game at a time and carry his country to another final. If they continue to play how they have recently though they could easily drop points to their 3 rivals in this group, perhaps making this the group to watch. With Aguero, Higuain and Debalya there is no need for this side to be a one man team, others should have the mentality not to hide behind one man.
Could flip a coin for who finishes second here I just give the Croats the nod due to them not having to face Argentina until match day 3. In previous tournaments I would write them off given distractions at home. Always an inconsistent side with a couple of world class talents on their day but the build up to Russia has hardly been ideal. Managerial changes, top officials accused of perjury, their captain facing legal action, domestic game gaining headlines due to hooligans. They will be grateful they have winnable fixtures vs Nigeria and Iceland
Africa are starting to believe in the Nigerians again. So often a team who self implode due to travel arraignments and pay disputes but this time they seem settled. They have some star names playing for some of Europe’s top sides but you still get the impression that they rely more on individuality rather then an actual team blue print. Opener against Croatia is huge.
Who would be surprised if Iceland got under Argentina’s skin with their set pieces expertise? After 2 years ago, they will come to Russia with no fear. They are a well drilled unit, who all know their own jobs, almost like a club mentality. Finished above Croatia in qualifying so no reason for anyone to take Iceland lightly.