VOLGOGRAD, Russia (Reuters) - Nigeria play Iceland in a World Cup Group D match in Volgograd on Friday.
Where: Volgograd Arena
When: Friday, June 22, 1800 local (1500 GMT/1100 ET)
- Iceland began their World Cup with an impressive 1-1 draw against twice champions Argentina. Nigeria lost 2-0 to Croatia.
- Iceland are appearing in their first World Cup after a run to the quarter-finals in Euro 2016 which included a knockout win over England.
- Nigeria are appearing at their sixth World Cup finals and have missed only one since they first qualified in 1994.
- Nigeria have got past the first round three times.
- Nigeria’s coach is German Gernot Rohr, a former Bayern Munich player who has also managed the national teams of Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso.
- Of the teams at the World Cup, Nigeria had the youngest squad during the qualifying matches with an average age of just under 25. Iceland had the second-oldest squad, averaging 29 years of age.
- Nigeria were the first nation to qualify from Africa for the 2018 tournament, finishing top of a group featuring Cameroon, Zambia and Algeria.
- Iceland won their qualifying group to claim their spot in Russia, including home and away victories over Turkey.
- Iceland’s manager, Heimir Hallgrimsson, was number two to Swede Lars Lagerback who steered Iceland to Euro 2016.
- Iceland’s key player Gylfi Sigurdsson recovered from injury in time to play in Saturday’s draw against Argentina.
- Iceland’s fans are famous for their “thunderclap” chants.
- When England and Tunisia played in Volgograd on Monday, players were bothered by gnats, a seasonal problem in the riverside city.
Iceland and Nigeria have met only once before, a 1981 friendly in Reykjavik won 3-0 by the Nordic island nation.
Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Christian Radnedge