Euro 2016 qualifier: Iceland host Group A leaders Czech Republic
In one of the most challenging Euro 2016 qualifying groups, table-toppers Czech Republic will face a trip to tackle second-placed Iceland, as both nations aim to extend their lead over a struggling Netherlands outfit.
The Czech Republic have been in fine form so far in Group A, rocketing to the summit with four wins and a draw, having so far avoided defeat, while the hosts have been similarly impressive and are only a single point adrift of their next opponents.
Pavel Vrba’s visitors are 7/5 with Coral to gain another three points on their travels to Laugardalsvollur in Reykjavik, where Iceland head coaches Lars Lagerback and Heimir Hallgrimsson will expect a solid performance from their men (6/4 to triumph).
With Guus Hidink’s Dutchmen faltering behind the two runaway contenders for Group A, the outcome of this match-up could potentially determine who secures top spot, with the loser possibly having to battle it out with the Netherlands the other coveted automatic qualification place.
Having won four of their opening five fixtures, the home side will be confident of overcoming the Czechs again, having beaten them in their only ever meeting on Icelandic soil in September 2001, holding a possible psychological advantage.
Iceland’s recent impressive run also includes a 2-0 triumph over the Netherlands and a 3-0 victory against Turkey, and the hosts are 10/3 to win to nil in their latest international outing, while their stern counterparts are 11/2 to take three points and both teams to score.
Sparta Prague’s Borek Dockal has struck three goals in qualifying for the Group A leaders and is a key threat to Iceland, while Swansea City’s influential playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson is in sublime form for the hosts, having netted four times in his five qualifying appearances.
However, the Czechs have overcome the Oranje, Turkey and Kazakhstan prior to dispatching Iceland in the reverse clash, and have only dropped points to Latvia so far in a frustrating 1-1 draw, so the hosts face a tough test on home soil.