Iceland shocked the whole of Europe at Euro 2016 when they marched all the way to the quarter-finals knocking out England along the way. Powered by the ‘Viking Cap’, Iceland have continued to perform after that successful tournament, and have qualified for their first ever World Cup this summer.
A by no means impossible group gives Iceland hope they can reach the knockout stages once again, especially with the talents of Gylfi Sigurdsson and other Premier League players Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Aron Gunnarsson at their disposal.
With the added bonus of the Viking Clap actually being on the World Cup update for FIFA 18, Iceland are a great choice to manage during the tournament. Here’s everything you need to know.
Iceland have a four star rating on FIFA 18’s World Cup update. This is made of up a 75 attack, 78 midfield and 74 defence.
Iceland’s potential World Cup fixtures
Round of 16
Portugal or Uruguay
Brazil or Belgium
Germany or Spain
It’s a baptism of fire at the World Cup for Iceland, with Argentina awaiting them in the opening game of Group D. If you can hold out Lionel Messi & co., that should set you up for the marginally easier group games against Nigeria and Croatia.
Six points should be your target, and that should be enough to earn you second place, meaning you would face France in the Round of 16 in a rematch of the Euro 2016 quarter-final. The French have heaps of talent, but they have struggled in recent tournaments. It will be a tough task, but if you can keep the defence tight, you may just be able to hit them on the counter-attack.
A win over France would open up the draw, and that should give you confidence to defeat Portugal or Uruguay in the quarter-finals. The semi-finals is likely to be the absolute furthest that you can reach, with the quality of Brazil or Belgium waiting, and Germany or Spain expected to make the final.
Iceland’s default formation is a 4-4-2, but in order to get the best out of Gylfi Sigurdsson, this should be switched into a 4-2-3-1 system.
Hannes Thor Halldorsson is in goal, with Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Kari Arnason, Ragnar Sigurdsson and Hordur Bjorgvin Magnusson making up the back four.
Captain and the forceful Aron Gunnarsson (84 aggression) partners Emil Hallfredsson in defensive midfield, whilst the threat of Johann Berg Gudmundsson (84 shot power), architect Gylfi Sigurdsson (87 short pass) and Birkir Bjarnason operate behind goal scorer Alfred Finnbogason (85 attacking positioning).
On the bench, go for Ingvar Jonsson, Ari Freyr Skulason, Olafur Ingi Skulason, Rurik Gislason, Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.
Gylfi Sigurdsson lines up in the attacking midfield role in our side, so you must look to get him on the ball as much as possible to make the most of his talents. Head to the instructions tab and select ‘free roam’ on positioning freedom.
Not only that, the Everton record signing is also a demon from set-pieces (89 free kick accuracy), so you must make the most of dead ball situations. Make sure you practice in a few kick-off matches and perhaps back in the FIFA 18 arena, both striking at goal and whipping the ball into the box.
Alfred Finnbogason is an underrated striker, with the Augsburg man netting 12 goals in the Bundesliga last season. With Sigurdsson behind him and his positioning, you shouldn’t need to worry about him getting into goal scoring positions, which he will more often than not put away (84 finishing).