Argentina v Iceland preview

Despite having the mercurial Lionel Messi in their ranks Argentina struggled to qualify for the World Cup and they may find it hard to break down a rugged Iceland side in Moscow on Saturday.

Argentina are full of big-name stars but on too many occasions they have failed to gel and it was left to Messi to almost single-handedly guide his side to Russia when he scored a hat-trick in the qualifier in Ecuador.

Iceland 4.75 to draw with Argentina

The 2014 runners-up have never played Iceland before, but on recent form Jorge Sampaoli’s side could become frustrated by the European minnows, who reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 after beating Austria and England and drawing with Portugal and Hungary.

Iceland, the smallest nation ever to qualify for a World Cup, do not score many goals but they are very hard to break down, as England found to their cost two years ago in France.

However, there are signs that they have peaked with recent friendly results being poor – they have lost 3-0 to Mexico, 3-1 to Peru and 3-2 against Norway in 2018.

Iceland 5.75 to keep a clean sheet

Iceland only conceded seven goals in their 10 World Cup qualifiers but their defence recently has been very porous, which will delight the likes of Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.

Despite reaching the final four years ago, Argentina struggled at times during the tournament and only edged past Iran 1-0 in the group stage thanks to Messi’s stoppage-time winner.

Argentina 4.75 to score a penalty

Their run to the final involved 1-0 wins against Switzerland, after extra time, and Belgium before they edged past Netherlands on penalties, following a goalless draw in the semi-finals.

Unfortunately this time Argentina’s defence is the weakest part of their team and could lead to them crashing out of the tournament at an earlier than usual stage.