France vs Iceland Euro 2020 qualifiers – Group H

Euro 2020 France vs Iceland
France vs Iceland Euro 2020 qualifiers

The match is over.
Score: 4-0.

World Cup holders France face dangerous Iceland in a replay of one of the most memorable games of Euro 2016, when the countries shared seven goals.

Predictions

Iceland’s improbable run to the latter stages of Euro 2016 was eventually ended by hosts France but it took a 5-2 win at the Stade de France in a game where Iceland simply didn’t know they were beaten – even when Les Bleus took a four-goal lead at half time.

Kolbeinn Sigthorsson pulled a goal back before the hour mark to give France a fright and even when Olivier Giroud’s second goal of the game made the tie safe, Iceland still wouldn’t stay down. Birkir Bjarnason got the final goal of the game
France were ultimately disappointed on home soil when they lost in the final to Portugal but lifting the World Cup in Russia two years later made up for it and then some. Arguably the stinging defeat of 2016 steeled France’s young squad and turned them into decisive winners.

A number of the squad that was successful in Russia remain in the fold but Didier Deschamps has so much talent to call on – and France produces so much talent on such a regular basis – that there are impressive new faces too. Kylian Mbappe is the star, though, old or new – at only 20, he’s not just one of France’s great players, but one of the world’s great players.

Iceland’s load will be carried by Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, the leading international scorer in Erik Hamren’s squad, but Bjarnason has goals in him at this level, as does Augsburg striker Alfred Finnbogason.

A repeat of the 5-2 from three years ago seems unlikely but the last time France and Iceland met it ended 2-2, and France needed two late goals just to get the friendly draw. Iceland can give the hosts another scare, but France’s quality and competitive excellence should win out – 3-1 to France.

Betting Tips

There hasn’t been a game between Iceland and France since 1987 in which only one team scored – Iceland were minnows for much of that 32 years but they still found the net against their more illustrious opponents. Unibet make it 6/5 for that trend to continue.

There were four goals the last time France and Iceland met, and seven before that. In both 2012 and 1999 they shared five goals – France winning 3-2 each time – so something about the meeting of these two countries means a busy day for the goalkeepers. Unibet have over 3.5 goals at 15/8.

Statistics

Head to Head

France and Iceland have met on 13 occasions, but Iceland haven’t won any of them. They’ve managed four draws, including in the last meeting of the two teams.

Stats

  • France conceded five goals in Euro 2016 – two of them to Iceland in their quarter-final fixture.
  • Mbappe is one of the youngest players in France’s squad at 20 but only Antoine Griezmann – 28 – and 32-year-old Olivier Giroud have scored more international goals in the current squad.
    France recorded an 8-0 win over Iceland back in 1957.
  • Deschamps is only the third man to win the World Cup as a player, when he captained France in 1998, and a coach.
  • Mario Zagallo of Brazil and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer are the other two.
By:Sam Watt

Football manager is my life, but have taken up writing to help put all that knowledge playing the game to good use. Follow me for all things European football and gain unexpected knowledge about players and teams you didn't know before. When not playing football manager, I take a break to play with my Sunday League team.

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