ROAD TO RUSSIA: How Argentina, Croatia, Iceland Are Preparing For Super Eagles

ROAD TO RUSSIA: How Argentina, Croatia, Iceland Are Preparing For Super Eagles

With the 2018 World Cup four months away, Completesportsnigeria.com’s JOHNNY EDWARD presents how Nigeria’s Super Eagles Group D opponents are preparing for the tournament…




World Cup Base Camp

Zenith Ziva

Argentina will use the Bronnitsy training centre as their base camp in Russia. The camp is located some 40km from Moscow and the Bronnitsy training centre is less than one hour, 30 minutes by flight to the three venues Argentina will play their Group D games.

The Argentines will fly for less than an hour when they open their campaign against Iceland on June 16 at the Otkrytiye Arena, the home ground of Spartak Moscow in Moscow.

They will fly for exactly 50 minutes when they play their second game against Croatia on June 21 at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod while against Nigeria, Lionel Messi and company will fly for one hour and 20 minutes to St.Petersburg where they will play against the Super Eagles. The match will take place at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 26, 2018.

World Cup friendlies

Two-time world champions Argentina have lined up four friendlies ahead of their 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia. The La Albiceleste who last won the World Cup in 1986 will play Switzerland in Basel on the 23rd of March before taking on Spain on March 27th at a venue yet to be finalised.

Argentina will play two other friendlies before they take on Iceland in their World Cup opener on June 16.

According to a report on the official website of Argentine Football Association, the Albiceleste have an offer to play Bolivia or Ecuador (though details of the game have not been finalised) in a farewell game at Boca’s La Bombonera Stadium on May 30 before departing to Barcelona on June 1 for a one-week training camp at the Joan Gamper Sports City on the outskirts of the city.

A final friendly game has been scheduled for Argentina on June 8 with Israel a likely opponent before their trip to Russia. Argentine, who booked a ticket to this summer’s tournament by winning their final qualifier 3-1 at Ecuador in October thanks to a Lionel Messi hat-trick, will take on Iceland, Croatia, and Nigeria in the group stages.


Argentina vs Iceland Spartak Stadium, Moscow Saturday 16 June

Argentina vs Croatia Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Thursday 21 June

Nigeria vs Argentina Saint Petersburg Stadium Tuesday 26 June


World Cup Base Camp

The Croatian team will use the Woodland Rhapsody Resort at Illichevo, in Russia. The camp is located approximately 60 kilometres from St. Petersburg. The Woodland Rhapsody is located in a peaceful resort between a forest and a lake which presents an excellent environment for the national team.

The Vatreni as the Croatian senior national team are called will hold their practice sessions at the newly completed and attractive small stadium at Roshchino, which is a 15-minute drive from the resort.

The Roshchino training centre has a capacity of 500 spectators and it was built for the World Cup. During the World Cup, this centre will also host the press centre for the media representatives.

Croatia World Cup friendlies

The Croatian Football Federation have confirmed two of the four friendly matches lined up for the Vatreni ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

According to a report on the CFF website, the Croatia will play Peru on March 23rd at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, United States of America and four days later take on Mexico at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

Also, a game against five-time world champions Brazil has been lined up for Croatia in May but a date and match venue are yet to be agreed upon with Chelsea’s home ground, Stamford Bridge, and Liverpool’s Anfield in the running to host the match.

Croatia are also keen on squaring up against an African team that play similar style with Nigeria in the first week of June. The Vatreni will start their World Cup campaign against the Super Eagles at the Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad on June 16.


Croatia vs Nigeria Kaliningrad Stadium,Kaliningrad Saturday 16 June

Argentina vs Croatia Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Thursday 21 June

Iceland vs Croatia Rostov Arena,Rostov-On-Don Tuesday 26 June

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World Cup Base Camp

The Iceland team are yet to settle for a camp site in Russia with the official website of Iceland stating that the team will either be camped in Moscow or the Nizhny Novgorod Region.

World Cup friendlies

Iceland started off their preparation towards Russia 2018 World Cup on the wrong foot, losing 2-1 to the Czech Republic in in Doha, in November 2017. Goals from Tomas Soucek and Jan Sykora gave Czech Republic a 2-0 lead before Kjartan Finnbogason scored a late consolation for Heimir Hallgrimsson’s side.

At the start of the year, Iceland returned to winning ways, recording back-to-back wins against an Indonesia selected side 6-0 and the Indonesian national team 4-1 in their second international friendly game in 2018.

Iceland topped Group I of their UEFA qualifying campaign that included Croatia, Ukraine, Turkey, Finland, and Kosovo, losing just twice in the 10 matches – scoring 16 goals and conceding seven. They will take on Mexico on the 23rd of March and three days later face Peru in friendly games.

Iceland are drawn in Group D alongside Super Eagles of Nigeria, Argentina and Croatia in this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia. They will face the Eagles in their second group game on June 22 in Volgograd.


Argentina vs Iceland Spartak Stadium, Moscow Saturday 16 June

Nigeria vs Iceland Volgograd Arena, Volgograd Friday 22 JUN

Iceland vs Croatia Rostov Arena, Rostov-On-Don Tuesday 26 June

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  • I see Nigeria and Iceland/Croatia qualifying 4 dis group

    • Promise Framez 4 years ago

      I see almost the same thing, with Argentina being third.

  • Patrick 4 years ago

    The coach of super eagles should use friendly games to test players such as Joel obi, Paul onuacho and other outstanding players in order to strengthen our team. Against Croatia the battle will be won or lost in the midfield .we need Joel obi along ndidi and onazi in the crucial match we will play against Croatia. We must excell against Croatia and Iceland before we face Argentina.

  • We actually need Joel Obi and Lawrence Akpoguna in Super Eagles for World cup

  • Edoman of New Jersey, USA. 4 years ago

    We only need Paul Onuachu. Paul is strong on the air and in the box. The highest Nigerian goals scorer in the World last season. Sorry to say, Joel Obi has biscuit legs the reason why he was not in Brazil and has not been playing regularly for his Club/Clubs