Iceland vs. Croatia, 2014 World Cup qualifying: Preview and TV schedule

Charlie Crowhurst

Iceland are massive underdogs in the first leg of their World Cup playoff against Croatia.

Iceland have upset the odds to reach the playoff phase of World Cup qualifying, and now only need to overcome Croatia over two legs to reach their first ever major tournament. Ok, 'only' probably doesn't do justice to the enormity of the task facing Lars Lagerbäck's side. Croatia may be out of form at the moment, though it's unlikely they'll manage to lose to the Icelandic minnows over two legs.

The two sides meet in the first leg in Icelandic capital Reykjavík on Friday, with the hosts unbeaten in their last four competitive games. In contrast, Croatia haven't picked up a meaningful victory since beating Wales back in March, though should be able to bounce back with a victory -- despite Iceland boasting Premier League regulars Aron Gunnarsson and Gylfi Sigurðsson among their few household names.

Projected lineups

Iceland: Hannes Þór Halldórsson; Ari Freyr Skúlason, Ragnar Sigurðsson, Kári Árnason, Birkir Már Sævarsson; Birkir Bjarnason, Aron Gunnarsson, Gylfi Sigurðsson, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson; Kolbeinn Sigþórsson, Eiður Guðjohnsen.

Croatia: Stipe Pletikosa; Vedran Ćorluka, Dejan Lovren, Josip Šimunić, Domagoj Vida; Niko Kranjčar, Ivan Rakitić, Luka Modrić, Darijo Srna; Eduardo, Mario Mandžukić.

Match Date/Time: Friday, 7 p.m. local, 2 p.m. ET

Venue: Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland

TV: Sportsnet 360 (Canada)

Online: WatchESPN (U.S.)

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