Russian Federation 2018: Nigeria in same group with Argentina, Croatia, Iceland

In Group D, Argentina will face Nigeria for the third World Cup tournament in a row, as well as Croatia and tournament debutants Iceland.

Russian Federation will start the world cup with Saudi Arabi.

Sampaoli also said he considers Croatia the toughest opponent, adding: "Croatia has an excellent midfield line with Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Ivan Perisic".

Iceland, the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup, topped their group to make it to the finals, following up an impressive debut at Euro 2016 past year where they beat England at the quarter-final stage.

Nigeria first met Argentina at the FIFA World Cups in U.S. 1994 and (LOST 2-1).

1998 champions France will be clear favourite in this group with Didier Deschamps' men boasting some of the finest stars in world football at the moment.

Each of Argentina's four previous encounters with the Croatians have been similarly close, winning by the narrowest of margins.

The competition, set for Russian Federation, has tossed up some spicy placements, with Portugal and Spain poised to face off in their first match, while England and Belgium will square up in their last.

Croatia and Nigeria will meet for the very first time in their opening game of the group.

"You know that Argentina is a very good team but know that it will be more hard now than in the friendly". The quality of the opposition awaiting the Super Eagles next year should require that every single one of the 23 who eventually makes the plane would be there on form and fitness, ability and, to a lesser extent, contribution to the qualifying campaign.

Given the number of times both nations have met, it could be argued that Nigeria should now understand better how to prepare for and prosecute a World Cup game against La Albiceleste.

With much of the world cheering on, Iceland's magical spell shattered after they received a 5-2 thumping from tournament hosts France. "I hope we keep on making people happy".

Although they showed great character in coming from behind to beat the Argentines 4-2 in a recent friendly match, it will require a tremendous performance to repeat the feat at the World Cup.

He said: "Our first game will be against Croatia. World Cup baby", Balogun wrote. We could play a friendly against Serbia, who play a similar football to Croatia.

Then, Iceland opened against soccer's other superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo, and drew 1-1 with eventual champion Portugal to start a fairytale journey into the quarterfinals.

  • Sylvester Abbott