UEFA Euro 2016 Knockout Stage Preview – France vs Iceland

France vs Iceland, Stade de France, Saint-Denis


Match Log

France

France 2 (Giroud 57, Payet 89), Romania 1 (Stancu 65 pen)
France 2 (Griezmann 90, Payet 90+6), Albania 0
Switzerland 0, France 0
France 2 (Griezmann 58, 61), Republic of Ireland 1 (Brady 2 pen)

Iceland

Portugal 1 (Nani 31), Iceland 1 (B Bjarnason 50)
Iceland 1 (G Sigurdsson 40 pen), Hungary 1 (Saevarsson 88 og)
Iceland 2 (Bodvarsson 18, Traustason 90+4), Austria 1 (Schopf 60)
England 1 (Rooney 4 pen), Iceland 2 (R Sigurdsson 6, Sigthorsson 18)

Top Scorers

France

3 – Antoine Griezmann
2 – Dimitri Payet
1 – Olivier Giroud

Iceland

1 – Birkir Bjarnason, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Arnor Ingvi Traustason.

Team News

France

Adil Rami and N’Golo Kante picked up suspensions in the match against Ireland, and Didier Deschamps has some tough decisions to make to find replacements. Yohan Cabaye should come in to replace Kante in midfield, and Samuel Umtiti should get the nod over Eliaquim Mangala to start in defence. Antoine Griezmann is looking for a move inside, but Olivier Giroud is likely to remain at centre forward, keeping the Atletico Madrid star on the right wing.
Likely team (4-3-3): Lloris – Sagna, Koscielny, Umtiti, Evra; Pogba, Cabaye, Matuidi; Griezmann, Giroud, Payet.

Iceland

Iceland have no worries when it comes to injuries and suspensions, and they should name an unchanged team for the biggest match in their footballing history. The game represents a big step up in quality for Iceland, but they will be well equipped to handle the pressure.
Likely team (4-4-2): Halldorsson – Saevarsson, Arnason, R Sigurdsson, Skulason; Gudmundsson, Gunnarsson, G Sigurdsson, B Bjarnason; Bodvarsson, Sigthorsson.

Keys to success

France

The French gave away a penalty early on against the Irish, and they will need to start with more confidence against Iceland, who will be harder to break down than Ireland. France looked incredibly dangerous in the round of 16, and if Griezmann, Giroud and Dimitri Payet can combine as well as they did in that match France should come out on top. Deschamps will be hoping that Paul Pogba can find his best in the centre of the park, and he will look for a solid effort from the defence.

Iceland

Iceland played brilliantly to beat the English, and they will need to show the same spirit that they have showed throughout this tournament. The defence has been very solid, and they will need to up their game to deny the French. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Aron Gunnarsson have been in excellent form in the centre of the park, and they will look to stand up as Iceland’s best players. Iceland have been strong on the counter-attack, and they will be looking for a solid attacking performance.

Prediction

Iceland have surprised many by making it this far, but the dream run should come to an end at the hands of a very dangerous French team. Payet, Griezmann and Giroud combined to devastating effect against Ireland, and they could break the Icelandic defence. France 2-0.

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