Iceland vs. Croatia: Team News, Live Stream, TV Info for World Cup 2018

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2018

(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on June 24, 2018 shows Croatia's midfielder Luka Modric (L) at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on June 20, 2018, and Iceland's midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson in Reykjavik, on June 7, 2018. - Iceland will play Croatia in their Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-On-Don on June 26, 2018. (Photos by Dimitar DILKOFF and Haraldur Gudjonsson / AFP)        (Photo credit should read DIMITAR DILKOFF,HARALDUR GUDJONSSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Croatia's decision to rest players for their final Group D match against Iceland at the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Tuesday could hinder Argentina's slim hopes of qualifying for the knockout phase.

Argentina need to beat Nigeria on the same day and hope Iceland can't better their result at the Rostov Arena. However, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has said he will rest key stars with his side already in the last 16.

Iceland's chances of joining them will likely hinge on the performance of Everton playmaker and creative talisman Gylfi Sigurdsson.


Date: Tuesday, June 26

Time: 9 p.m. local time (7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET)

TV Info: BBC Four/Fox Sports 1.

Live Stream: BBC iPlayer. Fox Soccer MatchPass.


With qualification already secured, Dalic may rest players who have already been booked, and therefore risk a suspension for the next round. Among those set for a night off are strikers Mario Mandzukic and Ante Rebic, along with midfielder Ivan Rakitic and defender Sime Vrsaljko, per Marca.

The same source also confirmed Rakitic's fellow midfielder Marcelo Brozovic is banned. His absence will create an interesting call for Dalic, who will have to decide whether to risk skipper Luka Modric or afford the 32-year-old a breather.

Rakitic and Mandzukic could be rested by already qualified Croatia.
Rakitic and Mandzukic could be rested by already qualified Croatia.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Veteran playmaker Modric has been his nation's best player through two matches. His vision and technique are vital for the way Croatia play so perhaps should be saved for a game with more at stake for The Blazers.

It will likely depend on how much Dalic wants to win the group. Finishing second could mean facing France in the next phase.

Iceland's hopes of being involved can be boosted by a quality performance from Sigurdsson. He was hot and cold during the loss to Nigeria, exceptional in the first half, but quiet after the break, missing a penalty late on.

Even so, Sigurdsson remains confident Iceland can get the better of a familiar foe they beat 1-0 a year ago, per Petur Hreinsson of FIFA's official website:

FIFA World Cup 🏆 @FIFAWorldCup

"It’s great we’ve shown we can beat them" #ISL star Gylfi Sigurdsson looks ahead to a crunch reunion with #CRO at the #WorldCup #ISLCRO 👉 https://t.co/uOa11ig6YD https://t.co/BgpqA2Hv8s

Iceland's chances of a repeat will be boosted if Croatia rest notable names, even if Dalic can still call on quality players such as Modric, Real Madrid schemer Mateo Kovacic and Hoffenheim striker Andrej Kramaric.

Expect Croatia to sneak a result against an Iceland team lacking sufficient firepower in forward areas.