Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
Stadionul Steaua will host Thursday’s World Cup qualifier between Romania and Iceland. Romania aim to cement second place in Group J, and they are likely to adopt an attack-minded approach against Iceland. Boss Mirel Radoi is unlikely to make too many changes to the team that defeated Armenia 1-0 in the last group game. PAOK winger Alexandru Ionut Mitrita, though, is out of contention through injury.
The Icelanders, on the other hand, faced no difficulties in a 4-0 win over Liechtenstein. The visiting team aim to keep their 2022 World Cup qualification hopes alive, but seeing that the hosts want this win more than the visitors, we predict that Arnar Vidarsson’s troops are going to return home empty-handed. Everton ace Gylfi Sigurdsson remains on the sidelines with injury, which is yet another reason why we are tempted to put our money on the Tricolores.
Highlighted Player (Ciprian Tatarusanu):
Anton Ciprian Tatarusanu is one of Romania’s most famous goalkeeper at the moment, and he has surprisingly spent the majority of his career up to date in his native country. The highly rated shot-stopper joined the most famous club on domestic stage Steaua via Juventus Bucuresti and Gloria Bistrita and he would go on to spend next seven years in the capital, making over 130 league appearances and featuring in over 40 matches in European competitions.
The big club move finally materialised in the summer of 2014 as he waited his contract to expire before signing for Fiorentina, and he quickly established himself as the number one goalkeeper at Artemio Franchi.
When it comes to international stage, Tatarusanu has spent much of his career competing with Costel Pantilimon for the starting berth in the national team, and he has emerged a winner, making 30 odd appearances for the Tricolorii since 2010. Bar any surprises, Tatarusanu will make his debut appearance at major tournaments at the Euro 2016 finals.
Highlighted Team (Iceland):
Iceland had little to no success during the first 60 years of entering the FIFA competitions, failing to qualify to a single major tournament in that period, but the team then went on to make tremendous progress at the start of the 21st century.
The Nordic side narrowly missed out on a place at the 2014 World Cup, losing in the play-off to Croatia, but they then enjoyed a thoroughly impressive qualifying campaign to reach the Euro 2016, taking 20 points from 10 matches to leave Turkey and Netherlands trailing in their wake.
As a result, the generation featuring players like Gylfi Sigurdsson, Aron Gunnarsson, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Emil Hallfredsson will go down as one of the most successful in the national team history and it could be quite some time before another team repeat their success. Even if he was only used as a bit-part player during the Euro 2016 qualifiers, Eidur Gudjohnsen has got to be mentioned as the first Icelandic footballer to have played for top European sides.