World Cup 2018, Argentina vs Iceland: 5 key players to watch out for
Debutants Iceland will begin their 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign against 2 time champions Argentina on Saturday. With a population of just over 350,000, Iceland became the smallest nation to ever qualify for the World Cup finals and after an impressive performance at the 2016 UEFA Euro they will look to continue their good run of form at football's mega event this summer.
Argentina will be entering this tournament after 3 consecutive final losses and will be determined to win a 3rd World Cup title for their country. They are drawn in Group D with Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria which is being considered as one of the toughest groups at this World Cup.
La Albiceleste have one of the most prolific attacking squad in this World Cup with star players such as Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero leading the attacking front.
We now take a look at 5 key players who will play a vital role in Saturday's David and Goliath encounter.
#5 Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland)
The Iceland skipper who can play either as a defensive midfielder or a central midfielder will play a pivotal role in Iceland's opening fixture against Argentina. He has made 77 senior appearances for the national team and was made permanent captain in August 2012.
Under his captaincy, Iceland achieved new heights as they made it to the play-off round of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification where they lost 2-0 on aggregate to Croatia. However 2 years later he led his country to UEFA Euro 2016 where they reached the quarterfinals.
His ability to control the midfield and make long throw-ins into the opposition box have troubled the defenders in the past. Former England manager Roy Hodgson before his team's round of 16 clash against Iceland at Euro 2016 said, "You'd have to be a bit blind not to realize that Gunnarsson is a weapon for them."
At this World Cup Gunnarsson will once again look to inspire his team to similar success and ensure his tiny nation makes a mark at football's greatest stage.