The big day is here! Iceland will today charge once more into battle, this time in the fly-infested quicksand of the slowly sinking Volgograd Stadium. Their opponents? Nigeria, who dramatically flopped against Croatia in their first game, turning in a limp and muddled performance. Now, the Nigerian side are fighting for their survival; however, throwing more men forth against the sturdy sea wall of the Iceland defence might well leave more space at the back for our lightning-fast attackers. It’s a must-win for Iceland after Croatia trashed a woeful Argentina eleven last night. While victory wouldn’t guarantee qualification, it’s a vital step in that direction. Here’s the latest horde news.
“The Berginator” unlikely to feature but Gylfi no longer a concern
Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson’s calf muscle tear is unlikely to be risked against Nigeria tomorrow afternoon, according to Iceland Monitor, although Gylfi Sigurðsson no longer appears to be a fitness concern. Coach Heimir Hallgrímsson confirmed as much in his press conference today with captain Aron Gunnarsson, and also addressed questions about the conditions facing our boys in Volgograd. With temperatures likely to be above 30 degrees celsius during the game, Heimir said “that’s probably better for the Nigerians than the Icelanders. We will take this into consideration when considering our game plan.” Better slap on the SPF 50 and insect repellent, lads.
Heimir denies sex ban is being enforced
Coach Heimir has confirmed that “there is no sex ban” in the Iceland camp. Many of the warriors’ wives and girlfriends have travelled to the frontline along with their partners, and now, it looks like pre-game warm up plans could be altered at the eleventh hour. Behind-the-scenes, Heimir is thought to have given directives to ensure that his players don’t incur any last-minute injuries. Any act requiring the use of a helmet or shield is also strictly forbidden, but players are encouraged to use at least one of the 2900 pairs of socks taken to Russia.
Nigeria work on set-pieces ahead of clash with our boys
German coach Gernot Rohr has been drilling his Super Eagles players on set-pieces, the Nigerian Daily Post reports. They will attempt and undoubtedly fail to combat Iceland’s team of giants, who have already been named the tallest squad at this summer’s World Cup. Bizarrely, Rohr has also decided to target offensive set-pieces in an attempt to break through our boys’ nigh-on impenetrable rearguard. “The important thing is for you to have good specialists for the kick. We have Victor Moses and (Ogenekaro) Etebo. Set-pieces will be much better in the next match for us,” he told reporters. We’ll see about that, pal.
Small in numbers, strong in thirst
Travelling Vikings have managed to complete the impossible task of drinking Russia dry, according to Reuters. It seems that Russian bars and restaurants were looking to flog more of their cheap home-brewed vodka and less of brand beers and as a result, many have run out of liquid gold. “We just didn’t think they would only want beer,” said one Moscow waiter, while reports out of Nizhny Novgorod suggested that Sweden fans drank all of the city’s beer before the game even kicked off. Iceland fans themselves are thought to be making the most of not having to pay 1400 ISK for every pint they don’t buy they don’t bulk buy at Keflavík airport.
Lada driving Iceland fans arrive in Volgograd
Kristbjörn Hilmir Kjartansson and Grétar Jónsson’s footballing pilgrimage has continued to Volgograd, fótbolti.net reports, where they will watch our boys all but secure their place in the Round of 16. Despite encountering problems with the car’s cooling system, they were fixed by enthusiastic Muscovites and the pair were able to advance to their next destination. “This has attracted much more attention than we ever expected […] In the end, we had to call a press conference in Moscow and here in Volgograd. We will do the same in Rostov,” the boys told media today. Let’s hope the Lada has the legs and the boys have the petrol money to make it through to mid-July.
— Sons of Ice and Fire (@sons_icefire) June 21, 2018
Iran player in throw-in balls up; invited by fan account to train with Iceland
Viral Iran throw-in taker Milad Mohammadi has been encouraged to hone his skills by paying a visit to the Iceland camp. The “Sons of Ice and Fire” Twitter account took pity on the Akhmat Grozny full-back, who could be seen attempting and tragically failing to execute a bizarre front-flip maneuver in his team’s unfortunate 1-0 defeat to Spain. Whether our boys are willing to pass on their handball skills remains to be seen, but the 24-year-old may have to organise a loan to Akureyri-based K.A. anyway, just to get out of the media’s firing line.
— Total Football (@totalfl) 11 October 2017
Eiður’s sons to sign for Real
Two of Eiður Guðjohnsen’s sons are set to join Real Madrid, according to Spanish outlet AS. 16-year-old striker Andri Lucas is thought to be the prime target of Los Blancos, who surpassed 20 goals for Espanyol’s under-16 side last season. It appears that he is about to be joined by younger brother Daniel Tristan, who has previously turned out for his father’s former side Barcelona. Daniel has already gone viral numerous times and has certainly has a penchant for spectacular goals. The two will both be hoping to eventually break into the Madrid first team and add to senior’s 2009 Champions League winners medal.