Iceland could be the smallest country by population to play in World Cup. They made a revolution some years ago in youth training and now their new generation was emerging and the current side largely comprise players who featured in the U21 European Championship two years ago. The thing though that makes this Iceland team dangerous is their youth. 12 of their 23 players are 25-years-old or younger, including six of their projected starters. Gunnarsson and Sigurðsson are playing regularly in the Premier League. They also have players playing in the Dutch and Danish top divisions. Lars Lagerback's Iceland squad are full of optimism and motivation. They have the experienced Gudjohnsen again in the squad. They will play without a pressure.
Croatia in their first six qualifiers, they had gained 16 points including a valuable draw in Belgium. Stimac tried new formations and something changed, because in the final four qualifiers, they used four different formations and the result of that experiment was only one point against Serbia (3 losses from Scotland and Belgium). Than these games resulted Croatia remained second in the group and Stimac resigned. It’s unclear how the new manager, Niko Kovač will line up the squad tactically since this is his first major coaching job but expect Croatia to play it safe in the first leg and try to keep it close so they can try and use their rowdy home crowd to intimidate Iceland in the second leg. Croatia has been in this situation and beyond before and will know how to handle; certainly they have more experience than Iceland have.
I have a very good Icelandic friend, his name is Halli. I guess he will be very happy tomorrow night. Croatia often overlook their opponents such like Iceland. It can happen they may just be watching the Brazilian World Cup from a bar in Zagreb.
World Cup 2014 – Once Eidur Gudjohnsen made history by coming on as a substitute for Arnor Gudjohnsen. Arnor is actually his father and that time he was only 16 years old. Iceland are now ahead of their biggest success while Croatia is entering their play-off with a new coach.
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