History in the World Cup
Iceland have featured in thirteen qualifying campaigns but never made it past the play-off stage. Iceland came within a game of making it to Brazil in 2014 before losing 2-0 to Croatia in the play-off stage. Euro 2016 was their first appearance at a major tournament, and they surpassed all expectations, famously stunning England in the pre-quarterfinal stage. In their debut World Cup campaign how far can they fair, remains to be a question.
Iceland qualified for the 2018 World Cup topping the UEFA Group I ahead of group rivals Croatia, Ukraine, Kosovo, Finland and Turkey. During October 2017, the team made its comeback to the top of the group after winning against Turkey. Continuing the victories, Iceland rose to the top of group with a shocking 1-0 victory over Croatia with a goal in the last minute. Soon after, the team made it to the final 32 after beating Kosovo 2-0, with a daring goal after the second interval making it Iceland’s first entry into the World Cup.
Since 2017 Iceland have Played 14, won 8, drawn 1 and lost 5 boasting of beating group rivals Croatia 1-0, Turkey 3-0 and Ukraine 2-0 during the stint.
Manager: Heimir Hallgrímsson
Goalkeepers: Hannes Halldorsson, Ogmundur Kristinsson, Runar Runarsson
Defenders: Jon Gudni Fjoluson, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Hordur Magnusson, Birkir Saevarsson, Ari Skulason, Sverrir Ingason
Midfielders: Emil Hallfredsson, Kari Arnason, Birkir Bjarnason, Arnor Ingvi Traustason, Olafur Skulason, Rurik Gislason, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Runar Mar Sigurjonsson, Aron Gunnarsson
Forwards: Kjartan Henry Finnbogason, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Alfred Finnbogason, Johann Gudmundsson, Vidar Kjartansson
Although Gylfi Sigurdsson’s playing time at Everton have been a factor of concern due to his knee injury and Everton’s poor run of form this season. None should doubt Sigurdsson’s quality and influence he brings to the spirited Nordic side. Iceland have an approach of centering their play style around defend with 10 men behind the ball, break cautiously and opportunistically, and capitalize on set pieces. Sigurdsson’s dead-ball delivery is a perfect match for a starting eleven that’ll feature eight players above 6 feet tall.
FIFA: Current - 22
Highest - 18
ELO: Current - 22
Highest - 19
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