Euro 2016 Group F: Portugal performers and prodigies to punish plucky Iceland
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | June 12, 2016
Portugal v Iceland
- Euro 2016 Group E
- Tuesday, June 14th
- Kick-off: 20:00 BST
- Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, St-Etienne
- Live on BBC One
Navigators can negotiate passage past Nordic nation
Portugal are firm 4/5 favourites with Coral to win Euro 2016 Group F, having earned victories in their two previous meetings with first pool foes and tournament debutants Iceland.
One curious thing about those previous battles, though, is the Nordic island nation managed to find the target on both occasions. Punters can thus enhance Fernando Santos’ side from 4/7 for victory to a superb 17/5 for a Portuguese win and both teams to score.
Iceland are considerable 11/2 outsiders to upset the Navigators, who bring a blend of youthful midfield, prime talent in attack and aged experience at the back to the Euros. A draw, meanwhile, is 11/4.
Usual suspects proficient for Portugal
You’d never bet against Cristiano Ronaldo in a fixture like this. All the records he has broken for clubs and country down the years invariably see him score against this calibre of opposition.
Although inevitably odds-on at 1/2 in the anytime market, rampant Ronaldo is a nifty 9/4 to break the deadlock and start to sink Iceland.
Old Manchester United teammate Nani is a tasty 2/1 anytime scorer shout here, having struck twice when last seen facing these foes in Euro 2012 qualifying.
Moutinho show and Santos selections
Joao Moutinho is the most mature midfielder in Santos’ squad, and he also found the target in the 5-3 fixture. He’s 7/2 to repeat here, having netted in the last two competitive games the Navigators played, with winning goals against both Denmark and Serbia.
There’s a new breed to join Moutinho in the Portugal engine room, though. No Raul Meireles, no Tiago Mendes, but the likes of William Carvalho, Andre Gomes and Bayern Munich-bound teenager Renato Sanches.
If established stars like Ronaldo and Nani, plus should’ve done betters such as Ricardo Quaresma, don’t appeal, then look to Rafa Silva (4/1 anytime), namesake Adrien (11/2) or Joao Mario (11/2) to conjure something up.
Gylfi and Gudjohnsen good for gambles
If anyone in Iceland colours has that midfield X-factor at Euro 2016, then it’s top scorer in qualifying and Swansea City star Gylfi Sigurdsson. He struck six times on the road to the France finals.
Of that half dozen, 50 per cent of Sigurdsson’s strikes came against fallen heavyweights the Netherlands. Portugal are often put as a side of similar stature to the Dutch in the betting when both teams reach major tournaments, so the form reads good here.
Sigurdsson is one of three Iceland internationals at 7/2 in the anytime market, and is by far the best value because he netted double Kolbeinn Sigthorsson’s tally, while Alfred Finnbogasson didn’t even convert in qualifying.
Golden oldie Eidur Gudjohnsen is a striking alternative for the Nordic nation off the bench, and he will be going up against a similarly seasoned defence. Fantastic value and surely worth a cheeky €/£1 wager at 14/1 to score last, Gudjohnsen is also 11/2 to roll back the years and net anytime.
Coral’s top tip: Portugal are splendid value at 17/5 to win with both teams scoring.