Team Analysis: Iceland14th Jun 2016 |
|Manager:||Lars Lagerbäck & Heimir Hallgrimsson|
|Best results in international competitions:||First championship.|
Lost the playoff to the 2014 World Cup
|Fierce rivals:||England, France, Poland|
|Odds to win the Euros:||101|
Nobody can doubt who the biggest surprise of the qualification round was. Iceland, a small Atlantic island with 300.000 inhabitants, managed to finish second. On their way there they defeated Turkey, Netherlands and The Czech Republic with the result that Netherlands isn’t in the tournament this time. The great question is what we can expect from them in the actual tournament.
The squad and their chances
Nobody would give Iceland any consideration under normal circumstances. But there’s nothing normal about the Icelandic team at the moment. Icelandic players have traditionally been playing in the Scandinavian leagues, but they have a surprisingly large number of players in the European leagues these days. Their strongest link is the attack, with the legend Eidur Gudjohnsen. At the moment he’s playing for the Norwegian team Molde, but his career involves being an important player for both Chelsea and Barcelona. And they’ve been very lucky with their group: They’ll face Portugal, Austria and Hungary. This gives them more than a fair chance at reaching the round of 16. If they do well and finish 2nd, they might actually surprise us and reach the quarter-finals.