Portugal vs Iceland Betting Prediction

Intro

The contrast of European football will be on display at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in St. Etienne when Portugal takes on Iceland. This Group F encounter, the first for both the teams in Euro 2016, would be played on Tuesday June 14.

The presence of Cristiano Ronaldo, who is arguably one of the best footballers in the world, makes Portugal one of the teams to be followed at Euro 2016. After leading his club Real Madrid to a record 11th Champions League crown, the superstar took a break and should be refreshed.

Ronaldo often gets criticized for not being successful in national colors as much as he is at club level. Euro 2016 gives him another shot at answering those critics. Drawn in a relatively simple group, Portugal should face no apparent problems in moving to the knock-outs which is where their real test begins.

The over-reliance on Ronaldo seems to have come down in the recent times, especially with the emergence of Bayern Munich midfielder Renato Sanches. Still, the presence of Ronaldo takes their performance up a notch as was evident in their 7-0 demolition of Estonia.

Iceland’s tale to the Euros is nothing short of a fairytale. They have already got their names etched in the annals of the game by being the smallest nation to ever qualify for the Euros. With the season already rich with experience of a surprise team winning a top league (Leicester City in English Premier League), Iceland’s supporters would love an encore.

While Portugal is an example of a team revolving around a single individual, Iceland epitomizes team spirit which has already seen the likes of Turkey and Netherlands bite the dust. For a team that prides itself on a strong defense and an equally vibrant front line, Iceland has all the qualities to give tremors to Portugal.

Team form

Portugal lost to England in a friendly but recovered in time to score a morale boosting 7-0 victory over Estonia in their last friendly before the Euros. Their last five games have seen then win three and lose two – not a particularly impressive record. But the Portuguese won their last seven competitive matches and are making their sixth straight appearance at the Euros. The 2004 Euros finalists have also never failed to qualify for the knockout rounds.

Iceland also ended their Euro 2016 preparations in style by beating Liechtenstein 4-0 but that is where the comparisons end. They endured a rather dismal spell of form after qualifying for France losing six of their nine games and winning just three. The team would love to go back to its qualification mode and start being a thorn in the flex of established sides once again.

Key players and team news

For a team centered on Ronaldo, there is no surprise that the formation and attack revolves around him. With Renato Sanches impressive in the recent displays, there is optimism that he could take off some pressure off their star player. Nani has had a good season in the Turkey Super League but Ricardo Quaresma could be pushing him for a starting role. Jose Fonte is a huge presence in the back line while there is Pepe for everyone who’s looking for some antics.

Iceland gives nothing away in terms of individual star players, with just one notable name being that of the ageing former Barcelona striker Eidur Gudjohnsen. Glyfi Sigurdsson of Swansea City doesn’t get the same attention as some of his contemporary playmakers but keep an eye on his free-kicks. In Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, Iceland have a dangerous forward in their ranks who can trouble any defense – provided he stays fit after an injury-hit season.

Betting advice

Portugal would be expected to live up to its billing as one of the superpowers of Europe and put it past Iceland. Ronaldo would have one eye on Michel Platini’s record of nine goals during the finals. He already has six from 14 Euro matches and if he can replicate his strike rate at Real Madrid, the record is up for grabs. Portugal scored 14 goals in their last six matches which points to some action in Iceland goal.

Iceland may have endured a poor friendly form but they have score 13 goals in their last six matches. The concern though would be that they could keep only two clean sheets in their last 11 matches.

Portugal will look to avoid any upset but there are goals in this game. Back both the teams to score while Portugal may just edge past Iceland.

Best bet

Both teams to score at odds of 2.25 with Betfred