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VIKINGS: 5 Iceland Players Super Eagles Must Watch Closely

VIKINGS: 5 Iceland Players Super Eagles Must Watch Closely

Ahead of Nigeria’s crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup game against Iceland, Completesportsnigeria.com’s JOHNNY EDWARD presents five players Gernot Rohr’s men must look out for when they file out out at the Volvograd Arena against the Vikings from 4pm today…

Gylfi Sigurdsson

Date of birth: Sep 8, 1989 (28)
Club: Everton
Position: Midfield

Everton star Gylfi Sigurdsson will once again be the focal point of this Icelandic side against Nigeria after their impressive debut draw with Argentina. Though not fully fit, his presence in the middle of the park and his threat in dead ball situations will pose a big threat to the chances of the Super Eagles midfield and chances of qualifying for the round of 16. If Iceland are to impress against Nigeria, he will be vital.

Zenith Ziva

Aron Gunnarsson

Date of birth: Apr 22, 1989 (29)
Club: Cardiff City
Position: Midfield

A tough-tackling midfielder, Aron Gunnarsson tireless runs must be matched by Nigeria’s ‘lightweight midfield’. He is the second most capped player in the squad and the fact that he is the captain makes him the player the Eagles must subdue to get through to the Iceland defence and score. The Super Eagles must also avoid conceding throw-ins around their box as he also launches effective long throws which could lead to goals. Remember the Super Eagles are vulnerable at set-pieces. He also leads his team and fans in a slow clap and chanting ritual with echoes of New Zealand’s rugby haka.

Birkir Bjarnason

Date of birth: May 27, 1988 (30)
Club: Aston Villa
Position: Midfield

Birkir Bjarnason is one of Iceland’s midfield enforcers, one who has an ability to contribute goals. Bjarnason instills energy into the Icelandic team breaking plays and also launching attacks. Whoever gets the nod to start in midfield for the Super Eagles will have his work cut out against the Aston Villa midfield enforcer.

Hannes Halldorsson

Date of birth: 27 April 1984 (34)
Club: Randers FC
Position: Goalkeeper

Backed by staunch defensive efforts from his defenders, Hannes Halldorsson did not only stop Lionel Messi’s penalty in the 64th minute to secure his team an impressive 1-1 draw against favourites Argentina, he also made seven saves in that encounter. The 34 year old plays for Danish side Randers and he is a part-time film director. He oversaw the video for Iceland’s 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.

Emil Hallfredsson

Date of birth: 29 June 1984 (34)
Club: Udinese
Position: Midfield

With over 60 international caps to his name, Emil Hallfredsson is one the most experienced members of the Iceland squad. The midfielder has the ability to dictate the play, knowing when to speed the pace up or slow it down. He showcased his this against Argentina where the Vikings got a point in their debut last Saturday. If he is allowed time and space on the ball he could hurt the Super Eagles with his clinical passes and runs from midfield.

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  • They should not focus on anybody and just play their football. Enough of being too careful

  • They are not just carefully they are scared, they are intimidated. They throw in the towel

    Their motor is do no hood, loose without a fight.
    Prove me wrong if you can.
    A lot will be heart broken, they will win Iceland and loose to Argentina and come hope expecting a hug.
    Rohr is a local champion.

  • —————-Known Weaknesses of Iceland———————

    Who art thou great Iceland before the Super Eagles of Nigeria, you shall be turned to level grounds, not by excuses or poor tactics but by doing the same things in different ways to achieve a different result.

    Iceland is not entirely impervious as a team and the weaknesses below can be exploited by the Super Eagles to lethal effect:

    – Set-piece vulnerability: Believe or not, Iceland are susceptible to corner kicks and other set-pieces which contributed to their 5:2 loss to France in Euro 2016.

    – Counter attacks: Against Argentina, Iceland sat back and socked pressure because of players like Messi, Aguero etc. Against Nigeria, they are expected to be more expansive and adventurous which will leave them open to lethal counter-attacks. They are not known to cope well with this.

    – Long-balls: When it comes to long balls, Iceland are not as good defending them as they are attacking with them. Teams used long balls to good effects against them in Euro 2016 and world cup qualifiers.

    – Driven passes and low-range passes across the 18 yard box: Pacy wingers can be a bane to Iceland at the back. Crisp cut backs, mid-range crosses and passes across the 18 yard box can catch them out.

    – Disconnect their supporters: Whenever their vociferous supporters go into one of those their routines, the Super Eagles should try to retain possession. These routines do add a bit of spring in the steps of the Icelandic players, so you disconnect them from their fans wherever possible.

    Getting a positive result today is possible with homework, planning, focus and exploiting the weaknesses of Iceland

  • yhykhy2000 3 years ago

    up Nigeria! !

  • Good luck super eagles

  • Why is all the world 1st grade coaches believing nigeria will win iceland? Diego simeone just said it, n he believe argentina will then win nigeria n qualify along with croatia, definitely this iceland team r not tgat good, eagles can do it.

  • Rohr is a local champion who came from the backyard, Niger and Gabon, come on since when has Niger and Gabon become serious football natio. In the world?
    The man is scared to death about our opponents.
    We will manage to win Iceland, I hppe.
    But we will be undone by Argentina because they are more
    They are hungrier, and have their name and careers at stake. Our players so to say behave like they have nothing to loose.

  • Omeruo, Musa and Ihenacho to start … I hope Musa seize this opportunity and play with the team and not play to score at all cost. Goal Eagles Go

  • Sunnyb 3 years ago

    Musa again , Rohr for real,Rohr is confused .

  • Sunnyb 3 years ago

    I swear I willl pick goat ahead of Musa

  • Sunnyb 3 years ago

    My heart bleeds seeing Musa and Iheanacho startis for Nigeria, these guys  just don’t have  it. Rohr playing Idowu in 3-5-2 formation  has to be the biggest joke.

  • Wow SE dey fall person hand big time. A game and a half with no shot on goal let alone on target. Musa is pure crap and should be hauled off. Bring in Iwobi to replace Musa quickly. Why in God’s name is ekong just ballooning the ball, he can’t make those long passes just lay it for someone else to pass. Victor Moses is not trying at all, always losing the ball cheaply. Poor performance I have to admit, GR just looks like an old drunk with his tolotolo neck lol. Edoman said anytime he sees his face, he just feels like tearing him a dirty slap Lol, he looks confused.

    Hopefully they will step it up in the 2nd half. Vamos SE

  • I have eaten my word I ooo lol

  • God is a Nigerian oooo. Penalty miss, Musa with 2 goals wow up 9ja. Omeruo should have cleared that ball one time to the stand after intersecting the ball rather than put us under undue pressure causing the penalty. Great work guys.

    Vamos SE.


  • Abdulrazak 3 years ago

    @Sunnyb, Internet coach. What have you got to say about Musa, Kelechi and Rohr now?

  • Sunnyb 3 years ago

    Kudos to him, much respect to him, those two were fantastic. I was just disappointed on his first half performance..

  • Sunnyb 3 years ago

    Those two goals were fantastic

    • Bro Sunny, I will keep saying it, I know you and other harsh critics care, you only have a ‘unique’ way of showing it