World Cup, Group D preview: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

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Argentina: For whatever reason, be they Real Madrid fans or just sadists, many critics say the best player in the world just won’t be allowed his full lore unless Lionel Messi leads his team to a World Cup. Messi has played in two Copa America finals and a World Cup final, but some need him to win a tournament on his own regardless of deficiencies at the back or anywhere else on the pitch. Will he? READ FULL TEAM PREVIEW

Iceland: The darlings of EURO 2016 have a remarkably difficult task ahead of them, being asked to again overachieve on a massive stage. READ FULL TEAM PREVIEW

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Croatia: Loaded with talent and experience, the main rivals for the group title will see El Clasico rivals Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric again team up to take on the world. READ FULL TEAM PREVIEW

Nigeria: Already celebrated for their unique green shirts, the Super Eagles will be led by a pair of young Premier League stars in Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi and Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi. Might they stun Argentina or Croatia? READ FULL TEAM PREVIEW

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Who’s going through: Argentina and Croatia

 [ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

Who’s going home: Nigeria and Iceland

Marquee match: Croatia versus Nigeria, Saturday in Kaliningrad

Top 5 players to watch
1) Lionel Messi — Argentina
2) Luka Modric — Croatia
3) Ivan Rakitic — Argentina
4) Wilfred Ndidi — Nigeria
5) Gonzalo Higuain — Argentina