How the Bookies See it
- Winner: France 2/5, Draw 15/4, Iceland 9/1 - Bet365
- To Qualify: France 2/11, Iceland 17/4 - 888Sport
- First Goalscorer: Antoine Griezmann 4/1, Olivier Giroud 7/2, Dimitri Payet 5/1 - Sky Bet
- France haven’t really made it out of first gear in their first four games. Narrow wins over Romania and Albania saw Les Bleus qualify for the knockout stages before a draw with neighbouring Switzerland saw them top Group A. An early Robbie Brady penalty for Ireland then gave the French a massive shock, but a brace from Antoine Griezmann spared the hosts’ blushes.
- Iceland seem to have caused a real brouhaha at these championships. A 1-1 draw with Portugal in their opening game may have looked like a fluke, but a second 1-1 draw with Hungary and a last-gasp win over Austria saw the island nation safely through to the last 16. The team saved their finest moment for the first knockout stage of the competition as they stunned the footballing world by eliminating an abysmal England side 2-1 in Nice.
France have looked like a decent outfit this summer, but are yet to show signs that they can actually win this competition. Late wins against group stage fodder like Romania and Albania, a goalless draw with Switzerland and a come-from-behind victory against Ireland have not shown the complete potential of this supremely talented squad. A narrow margin of victory could be worth a flutter once again for Didier Deschamps’ men, with BetVictor offering odds of 17/2 on France sneaking beyond Iceland with a 2-1 victory, while a laboured win by any scoreline for Les Bleus in extra time is 11/1 with Bet365.
Antoine Griezmann is France’s top scorer at the competition with three goals in four matches, and the Atletico Madrid front man will be hoping to build on his impressive haul that currently sees him sit top of the goalscoring chart alongside Spain’s Alvaro Morata and Wales’ Gareth Bale. The 25-year-old Frenchman is 4/1 with SkyBet to open the scoring, while teammate and candidate for player of the tournament Dimitri Payet is 11/2 with Coral to net first. At the other end, Hugo Lloris, who is yet to face a shot from open play at these championships, has looked solid between the sticks and is 28/29 with 888Sport to keep a third clean sheet and France to win.
Just making it this far is beyond the wildest dreams of many of Iceland’s players and fans, especially after facing the likes of Portugal, Austria and England, all teams ranked inside the top 11 in the world. The men from north-western Europe are unbeaten coming into this fixture, but have conceded in every game they have played in so far. SkyBet are offering odds of 6/4 that this trend will continue and both teams will score, while Bet365 are pricing both teams to score and Iceland to win at odds of 20/1.
Iceland have made the most of playing without the ball this summer, averaging just 35 percent of possession in their four games, the lowest of any of the 24 teams at the competition. However, when it comes to taking their chances, the islanders have made the most of their trips up field, scoring six goals in four games, despite only managing an average of 7.25 attempts per game. Don’t expect a free-scoring outing from Iceland, but another shock 2-1 win is 30/1 with BetVictor and could be on the cards if the French become too complacent or buckle under the expectation of their home supporters. The hosts have also conceded the most penalties this summer, another reason to give the former minnows of world football a chance to cause another colossal upset.
- Sports.net’s top tip: - Iceland to score a penalty in 90 minutes 18/1 - Bet365
*Please note that odds may fluctuate in the run up to kick-off.