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Iceland v Croatia: World Cup 2018 match preview, predicted team line-ups and more

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Iceland face Croatia in their final Group D fixture on Tuesday.

Playing in their first ever World Cup finals match, Iceland drew against the mighty Argentina before going down 2-0 against Nigeria in their next game.

Croatia sit comfortably at the top of Group D with six points after thrashing Argentina 3-0 last Thursday.

Even if they lose Tuesday’s clash, they are guaranteed a spot in the knockout stages of the tournament.

What’s the team news?

It is reported Croatia’s boss Zlatko Dalic will rest at least six first team players – to avoid them picking up suspensions for their crunch knockout clash next.

This includes Barcelona man Ivan Rakitic.

For Iceland, centre-back Ragnar Sigurdsson may miss Tuesday’s clash, after he went off with a head injury during their loss to Nigeria.

Iceland face Croatia in their final Group D fixture

Where can I listen to live coverage of Iceland vs Croatia?

Click here to listen to our live commentary of the action as it happens on talkSPORT 2.

What are the players saying?

Hannes Halldorsson (Iceland) – “We are proving it again and again that we are no one-hit wonder. We have a really good team with a strong defence and striker and midfielders who can really hurt when we go for counter attacks. We are a nightmare to play against.”

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Vedran Corluka (Croatia) – “I think these are their best performances for Croatia during a major tournament.”

What are the managers saying?

Heimir Hallgrimsson (Iceland) – “If it’s the Eurovision Song Contest we always think we’re going to win it.  It’s the same here – we think we’re going to win all the games. And even if we lose we think we’re going to win the next one. I think it is in the genes – optimism. Just to put the question into context…for nations like Argentina, Portugal, Germany, it would be a kind of, not a disgrace, but at least a shock not to qualify for the final 16.

“I would say it would be the biggest success in our football history if we qualify for the last 16 in the World Cup. So that’s just to put it into context – how much it would mean to us and how much of an achievement that would be for the players.”

Iceland manager – and dentist – Heimir Hallgrimsson

Zlatko Dalic (Croatia) – “We want to beat Iceland to stay top of our group. We have our own style of play and we are going to stick to it while being watchful on their long balls and set pieces. We know everything about Iceland and they know everything about us.”

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What are the predicted line-ups?

Iceland (likely) line-up: Halldorsson; Saevarsson, Arnason, Sigurdsson, Magnusson; Gislason, Gunnarsson, Hlafredsson, Bjarnason; Sigurdsson, Finnbogason.

Croatia (likely) line up: Subasic; Jedvaj, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Badeji, Modric; Perisic, Kovacic, Pjaca; Mandzukic.

Who are the key players?

Iceland: Gylfi Sigurdsson did not set the world alight against Argentina or Nigeria with Iceland largely on the defensive. However, Iceland should attack much more against Croatia, which will offer the Everton playmaker the best opportunity to show off his skills.

Croatia: Luka Modric is Croatia’s best asset having netted two goals in the tournament so far and been faultless in posession.

What does the Group D table look like ahead of the match?


talkSPORT are with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.

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