Portugal and Iceland face off in their Group F Euro 2016 opener this evening. The Icelanders are making their first major tournament debut and will be hoping to cause an upset against the much more established Portuguese side.
Iceland is the smallest team to grace a major finals with a population of 330,000. The two teams are meeting for only the third time tonight with Portugal winning the previous two.
Portugal has never won the Euros but came closest when they hosted the tournament in 2004 where they lost to minnows Greece who had already beaten them in the group stages. That was Cristiano Ronaldo’s first major tournament for country and the Real Madrid star man will look to change the fortunes of his country in leading them to their first ever continental crown following a successful campaign for club. He will also be equaling Luis Figo’s record in terms of caps for country with 127.
Iceland are clearly the underdogs in this encounter having no prior experience in this tournament – but as has already been seen in the tournament so far the margins between teams are not that great. Only 2 teams have won by a goal margin of more than one with 2 draws and the others one goal margin wins. Portugal would be naïve to think this will be a walk in the park.
Portugal coach described Iceland as a being more than just physically strong and asked his players to be wary of them. Gylfi Sigurdsson is Iceland’s main man going into this game.
- Ricardo Quaresma remains doubtful for Portugal.
- There are no injury concerns for Iceland as the coach has a fully fit squad to choose from.
- Possible Portuguese lineup: Rui Patrício; Vieirinha, Bruno Alves, Pepe, Raphäel Guerreiro; João Mário, Danilo, João Moutinho, Adrien Silva; Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo.
- Possible Iceland lineup: Halldorsson; Sævarsson, R Sigurdsson, Árnason, Skúlason; Gudmundsson, G Sigurdsson, Gunnarsson, Bjarnason; Sigthórsson, Finnbogason.
KICK OFF IS AT 19.00GMT.