The two contestants of the Group F of the Euro Cup 2016, Portugal and Iceland will kick start their campaign tonight when they will pit against each other at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard of Saint-Etienne starting from 9.00 PM local time and 12.30 AM Indian time. So before this scintillating encounter starts, get an insight about the Portugal vs Iceland Euro Cup 2016 match preview, probable starting lineup, inside team news and our prediction about this game.
This is the third time Portugal and Iceland are locking horns with each other. The last two times this two European sides met was back in 2012 UEFA Euro Cup qualification stages, where Seleco of Europe won on both the occasions quite comfortably. But this time, the match will be more competitive although Portugal looks far stronger on pen and paper, Iceland have stunned the teams like Turkey and Netherlands during the qualification stages and grabbed the second spot from a mighty tough group. Iceland is also making their debut in this major European football championship and they are the smallest nation to grace a major final with a population of mere 330,000. On the other hand, the captain and the superstar of the Portugal team, Cristiano Ronaldo is on the verge of equaling Lus Figo’s Portugal record (127) of winning the most number of caps for his country.
Euro Cup 2016 Portugal Team Analysis
As a traditional football powerhouse, Portugal is always a fierce force in any football tournament and this Euro Cup is certainly not an exception. But the problem with the Portuguese side is they often get choked in the big tournaments such this and they lack consistency in their game too. The last Portugal reached the final of a competition of such gravity was back in 2004 Euro Cup on their home soil and lost to Greece, surprising the whole world. Cristiano Ronaldo played that final, and he will be eager to turn this silver medal into gold in this edition. With such an easy group, apparently Portugal should not have any problem to cross the group league barrier and to do so, they will rely on none other than CR7, as they did in the qualifying rounds too. This talismanic character scored 5 goals in the qualifying stages and will try to repeat the same in the Euro Cup also. Apart from Ronaldo, the team will look upon to Pepe, Joo Moutinho and Nani to start their campaign on a winning note and a high spirit. The only problem the Portuguese coach Fernando Santos has to deal is the injury woe of the creative midfielder Ricardo Quaresma’s hamstring injury.
Portugal Probable Starting Line-Up: Rui Patrcio; Vieirinha, Bruno Alves, Pepe, Raphel Guerreiro; Joo Mrio, Danilo, Joo Moutinho, Adrien Silva; Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo
Euro Cup 2016 Iceland Team Analysis
As we said earlier, Iceland shocked the whole world when they beat teams like Turkey, Netherland and the Czech Republic en-route to their Euro Cup 2016 qualification. The Swansea striker, Gylfi Sigurdsson played the most pivotal role in country’s qualifying stage success and netted 6 goals including three crucial goals against Turkey and Netherlands. He will also lead the striking force against Portugal along with the skipper Gunnarsson and Sigthrsson. The Ragnar Sigurdsson – Ari Sklason pair will lead the team from the back and the experienced goalkeeper Hannes Halldrsson will guard the fort for the “Strkarnir okkar”. There is no injury concern in the team, and the coach Lars Lagerbck said they will try to close down CR7 as much as possible but will not shift their entire focus to one person.
Iceland Probable Starting Line-Up: Halldorsson; Svarsson, R Sigurdsson, rnason, Sklason; Gudmundsson, G Sigurdsson, Gunnarsson, Bjarnason; Sigthrsson, Finnbogason.
Portugal vs Iceland Euro Cup 2016 Match 11: Our Prediction
Though the match looks like a complete mismatch between the two teams, we think this match will go pretty neck to neck. The Portuguese will edge over their rivals for their massive experience in such big tournament where Iceland is playing a tournament of such magnitude, for the first time. So we think Portugal will win the match by 2-1.
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