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Iceland and the Viking Clap

FIFA World Cup preview: Iceland

Iceland and their supporters' trademark Viking Clap have taken the football world by storm, can that extend into the FIFA World Cup?

This nation of just 330,000 people (which is just 15 per cent of the population of Sydney) has qualified for the finals for the first time in history, but that in itself is no fluke.

Iceland shocked the world in the European Championship two years ago, escaping the group stage in France before dispatching England in the round of 16 to make the quarterfinals.

They were the smallest nation to even qualify for Euro before and they become the smallest nation to ever qualify for the FIFA World Cup.

Throw the form book and rankings guide away here, because anything becomes possible here.

The draw for Iceland

Argentina, June 16

Nigeria, June 23

Croatia, June 27

The star players

This whole squad typifies what world football is about, courage, overcoming adversity and belief in the face of extraordinary odds.

The threat could come from everywhere here, or it could come from nowhere. Iceland is exactly that unpredictable here.

Gylfi Sigurðsson hails from English Premier League club Everton and has been named Iceland's best player every year since 2012, so his influence will be critical here.

What needs to go right

Well, there is always a pool of death or two at a FIFA World Cup. Iceland certainly appears to have been dealt a dud hand for Russia.

Lining up against Lionel Messi's Argentina is a sure-fire fairytale killer, while Iceland also lost to Croatia in qualifying.

Nigeria is no pushover either, so there is enormous work ahead for Iceland to create another chapter in their giant-killing run.

If, and that is a big if, they escape their pool, France likely awaits - the side that ended their run in Euro 2016.

About the Author Josh Alston

Josh Alston is a hack with over 12 years industry experience, covering sport across all codes for newspapers and online agencies. Known to frequent grade matches because of their cheap tinnies. Eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in sitting on the hill when the local cricket side was playing. Softball premiership winner, rugby league legend in Year 10 and no stranger to Doomben Racecourse.

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