Euro 2016 betting: Hosts France to melt Icelandic dreams

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Updated: July 3, 2016

Today’s featured Euro 2016 quarter-final betting preview: France v Iceland; Stade de France, Paris, France; Monday, July 4, 5am

 

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It’s a sporting story that’s not only captured the hearts of Europe, but has swept the world. The football team of tiny nation of Iceland (pictured below) stands 90 minutes from the last four in their debut appearance in a major tournament final. Standing in their way is the host nation France, on their home stage at the Stade de France. The Wales camp said Iceland’s shock win over England in the last 16 inspired them to victory over Belgium so could the remarkable Welsh triumph have a similar impact on the Nordic minnows? Iceland may be unchanged for a fifth successive game.

Nine of Iceland’s likely starting line-up begin on a booking and another caution would rule them out of a potential semi-final. Iceland remain at the bottom of most statistical categories but they’ve been completely irrelevant for a team that is galvanised in the knowledge they can compete at this level. All six of Iceland’s goals at Euro 2016 have been scored by different players. Appropriately, along with Wales, they are one of two teams to have scored in all of their games at Euro 2016 – as have all four of their opponents. Iceland have only lost once in their past 10 competitive matches (W5, D4).

 

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Unlike Portugal and England, France have been respectful in the build-up to this game. Captain Hugo Lloris said that, “we realise that being a big nation and playing nice football is not enough to make it to the last four”. Uncapped France centre-back Samuel Umtiti is set to replace the suspended Adil Rami, while midfielder N’Golo Kante also serves a one-game ban. If France opt for the 4-3-3 formation they started against the Republic of Ireland then Yohan Cabaye is likely to replace Kante. But if the French change their system then Kingsley Coman or Moussa Sissoko could be promoted to the starting line-up.

Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny are a booking away from suspension, should France progress. France are unbeaten in 11 previous matches with Iceland, winning eight of those games. In their only meeting this century, France came from two goals down to win 3-2 in a friendly in Valenciennes in May 2012. France have lost only 10 of their 79 games at the Stade de France and have won four of their five games at the venue in major tournament finals. Their lone draw was 0-0 against Italy in a World Cup quarter-final in 1998. They subsequently won a penalty shoot-out.

 

 

Confirmed betting (card finalised)

France -1 v Iceland (one unit @ $2.10) – Les Bleus produced their best 45 minutes of the tournament to come from 1-0 down at half-time to beat the Republic of Ireland 2-1 in the last 16, and that second-half performance gives them foundations on which to build. England never really tested Iceland’s defence so the resolution of these underdogs was never really tested. The fairytale ends tonight, sadly.

 

Most recent results: 2-0, +2.2 units; overall finals record: 21-12, +23.27 units; qualifying record: 34-10-26, +13.40 units

Wales +1hcp v Belgium (one unit @ $2.00) WIN (3-1)
Germany WIN v Italy (one unit @ $2.20) WIN (1-1, 6-5 pens)

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Bet365 (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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