With less than 100 days to go, the World Cup euphoria is rising, the fans are already planning to spend their summer vacations in Russia, and many of them will hear the famous Viking Thunder-Clap for the first time in their lives. Iceland were one of the biggest hits at the Euro 2016, especially after they knocked England out and the team that supplied the most memorable storyline in France will try and repeat the success at the World Cup in Russia.
The smallest nation ever to appear at major tournament finals will pose a big threat to every single opponent in group D, simply because they want to make a memorable first-ever appearance at the World Cup. Their impressive qualifying campaign saw Iceland top the group that included Croatia, Ukraine and Turkey. Gylfi Sigurdsson was once again the leader of the team, being the top goalscorer with 4 goals on his tally and was followed by Alfred Finnbogason, who added three. Now, their only mission is to repeat the success from Euro 2016.
The biggest question is whether their star player will be able to rediscover his form before June, since his big-money transfer from Swansea to Everton last summer has been a campaign of frustration, even though the 28-year-old was one of the better players this season, netting some amazing goals in the process. Arnor Ingvi Traustason and Alfred Finnbogason will be his biggest support against Argentina, Nigeria and Croatia in Group D.
Iceland will face Argentina for the first time in the opening fixture, and, as recent history has taught us, the Nordic side are more than capable of defeating the very best t national teams. When it comes to Super Eagles, Heimir Hallgrimsson’s men have faced them only once so far, in an international friendly back in 1981, when they won 3:0. As for Croatia, Vatreni still remember the dramatic loss in Reykjavik and, judging by the poor form of Zlatko Dalic’s charges, Iceland might just repeat the success and secure one of two top spots in the group, allowing their fans to perform the famous Thunder-Clap both during group stage and the knockout stages.