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 By Nick Ames

Iceland beset by key injuries as Sigurdsson sweats on fitness

With the surprise factor gone for Iceland, the ESPN panel feel Iceland's lack of depth could cause them trouble at the World Cup in Russia.
Ian Darke leads the ESPN panel in predicting the 2018 World Cup winner with names of Germany, Brazil, France and England among the list.

The 2018 World Cup is just over a month away, and all 32 teams are preparing in earnest for their shot at the trophy in Russia. ESPN FC is previewing every team ahead of the opening game on June 14. Find all 32 teams here.

Who they are

Captain: Aron Gunnarsson
Manager: Heimir Hallgrimsson
Nickname: "Strakarnir Okkar" ("Our boys")
FIFA rank (as of April 12, 2018): 22

How they qualified

Iceland finished top of a keenly contested Group I in UEFA qualifying, therefore progressing to Russia...



Gylfi Sigurdsson in Iceland's World Cup squad despite injury

After becoming the smallest nation to qualify for the World Cup, Iceland celebrated with their famous Viking clap.

Iceland have selected playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson and captain Aron Gunnarsson in their 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia even though both midfielders are out injured.

Sigurdsson, Iceland's star player, has been out with a knee injury since early March and will miss the final game of the Premier League on Sunday for Everton.

Gunnarsson is recovering after undergoing knee surgery in late April.

Iceland made the squad announcement in a video on YouTube on Friday.

With about 330,000 inhabitants,...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Iceland leaders to boycott 2018 World Cup in Russia over spy poisoning in U.K.

U.K. foreign secretary Boris Johnson says Britain may not participate normally in the World Cup if Russia is proven to be behind the unexplained illness of a former spy.

Iceland's government representatives will not attend the World Cup in Russia this summer, in solidarity with the United Kingdom after a chemical attack on Russian former agent Sergei Skripal and her daughter in Salisbury, which the British government has blamed on Moscow.

"Among the measures taken by Iceland is the temporary postponement of all high-level bilateral dialogue with Russian authorities. Consequently, Icelandic leaders will not attend the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer," a ministry...

 By Tom Marshall

Juan Carlos Osorio adds steel to Mexico's flair but is still being criticised

ESPN's Herculez Gomez looks at the big picture and what lies ahead for Juan Carlos Osorio after he turned down a contract extension with Mexico.
Mark Donaldson and Kasey Keller look ahead to the World Cup and assess how far Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama are capable of going.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- How much emphasis should a team put on attempting to blunt or reduce specific threats that an opposition side poses? And at what point does doing so stifle your own strengths and chances of victory?

These are questions that football managers have to balance, but to which there are no absolute answers.

Arch pragmatist Jose Mourinho can change his Manchester United team's outlook from game to game, sending out a side that dominates possession and attacks with relative freedom...