UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying: Iceland vs France preview

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October 10th, 2019
Back UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying: Iceland vs France preview

Iceland are looking to shock their way back into the qualification race in UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying group H but they will nee a huge performance to get a result on Friday evening, when they host reigning world champions France at Laugardalsvollur in Reykjavik. The reverse fixture was played in March and France did well to win it 4-0 in Paris with Samuel Umtiti, Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann on the score sheet. France have won ten of the fourteen direct meetings between the two nations, while the other four were draws. However, the French have not won an away match against Iceland since 1990. 

Iceland are hoping to reach their third consecutive final tournament after having made a good impression at Euro 2016 and at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. However, this time they will have to work harder to qualify after having lost two of their six matches so far, conceding nine goals. In September they collected a 3-0 win over Moldova, their third consecutive success, but then lost 4-2 in Albania and dropped to third place, three points behind Turkey and France. Captain Aron Gunnarsson will not play in this match as he has withdrawn from the squad due to injury. 

France can't afford any more slip-ups in this campaign, they have won five of their six matches so far but the 2-0 defeat in Turkey in June puts them in second place ahead of this match, tied on 15 points with the leaders. If they lose against Iceland then their quest to finish inside the top two teams could get quite complicated, with Albania also lurking in fourth place. Head coach Didier Deschamps will have to do without first-choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who will be out until January with a serious arm injury, while Kylian Mbappe is also set to miss out. 

Probable line-ups: 

Iceland: Halldorsson - Hermannsson, Arnason, R. Sigurdsson, Skulason - Gudmundsson, Sigurjonsson, Bjarnason, Traustason - G. Sigurdsson - Sigthorsson

France: Areola - Pavard, Varane, Lenglet, Digne - Tolisso, Kante - Ikone, Griezmann, Coman - Ben-Yedder

My prediction: 

Iceland are very tough to beat in Reykjavik, but France should be able to avoid making the same mistakes that led to the defeat in Turkey last summer. I think France will win this match 2-0. 

Here are the odds for this match at NetBet

Iceland win - 7.25

Draw - 4.30

France win - 1.45

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