Iceland eyes epic upset of France at Euro 2016
Fresh off engineering one of the biggest upsets in international soccer history, can Iceland double its pleasure this afternoon?
At 3 p.m. ET, the tiny island nation faces host France in the Euro 2016 quarterfinals. Online sports book Bovada.lv thinks the storybook run will come to an end here, though, installing Les Bleus as a one-goal favorite. As for the Strakarnir Okkar, they represent +600 underdogs. The over/under goal total sits at 2.5.
Iceland, co-coached by practicing dentist Heimir Hallgrimsson and Swede Lars Lagerback, continued a thoroughly improbable journey with Monday’s 2-1 victory over England. Tallies by Ragnar Sigurdsson and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson ensured a legendary celebration among the country’s 330,000 residents. The midfield pairing of Aron Gunnarsson and Gylfi Sigurdsson, though, must step up in a few hours if the Strakarnir Okkar truly crave a spot in the semifinal stage.
Of course, there’s immense pressure on France, which functions as the home team. Les Bleus needed a second-half brace from Antoine Griezmann to down the Republic of Ireland in the round of 16. Griezmann and Dimitri Payet could be asked to do more than ever here, particularly in light of suspensions to N’Golo Kante and Adil Rami.
At the end of the evening, however, coach Didier Deschamps’ troops should pull through. One would be foolish to discount the fatigue exhibited by Iceland in recent performances vs. Hungary and Austria. Even the slightest slip-up usually means disaster against France’s explosive attack. Bank on Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris’ stability as the deciding factor that brings Iceland’s awesome narrative to an inglorious conclusion.
SUNDAY EURO 2016 FREE PICK: FRANCE -1