Surprise Euro 2016 qualifiers Iceland take on neighbours Denmark at MCH Arena, Herning on 24th March as they look to test their team depth before the final showdown in France.
The hosts Denmark have failed to qualify for the main event after losing out to Sweden in the two-legged knock-outs by 4-3 aggregate. The Danes are on a terrible run of form and haven’t won a game since June 2015.
Iceland finished second in the Euro Qualifying stages behind Czech Republic from a group which included strong teams like Netherlands and Turkey. Despite their good form at the qualifiers, they have only managed 1 win from their last 8 matches, starting off with two draws and a loss in the last three qualifiers followed by five friendlies. Their only win since then came against Finland by 1-0, while they lost to the likes of USA and UAE.
Denmark are on a 6 match win-less streak since the 2-0 win over Serbia on June 2015, with 3 draws and 3 defeats. Their last four matches witnessed 3 defeats, from the likes of France, Portugal and Sweden.
Denmark: Team News
Age Hareide’s Danish national team will feature a number of English Premier League stars with Tottenham Hotspus starlet Cristian Eriksen playing a key role in the midfield. Leicester City goal keeper Kasper Schmeichel is expected to start in goal, while Aston Villa Jores Okore and Brentford’s Lasse Vibe have also received call-ups.
Predicted line-up (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel – Jacobsen, Kjaer, Agger, Durmisi – Hojbjerg, Delaney – Poulsen, Eriksen, Krohn-Dehli – Bendtner
Iceland: Team News
Iceland coaching duos Lars Lagerbäck and Heimir Hallgrímsson will be more focused on testing their players for the finals in France and have called up an experienced side. They are very to play a 4-3-3 formation and will comfortably sit deep in defense, looking to attack the Danes on the counter.
Predicted line-up (4-3-3): Kristinsson – Saevarsson, Arnason, Sigurdsson, Skulason – Gudmundsson, Gunnarsson, Sigurdsson – Bodvarsson, Sigborsson, Bjamason.
Denmark vs Iceland: Head-to-Head
Denmark have never lost to Iceland in seven meetings since 1991. The record reads 6 wins and 1 draw in the favour of the Danes. While Iceland best result against Denmark is a 0-0 draw in 1991.
Denmark have won all of the six matches against Iceland since then and haven’t conceded a goal in the last five.
Denmark vs Iceland: Prediction
Denmark look strong on paper and have players with individual brilliance who can turn match on their own. Well, but their team work and overall performance have been pretty disappointing in the last few months.
Iceland are a strong group and most of their players will be keen to impress the coach for the final call up to the finals in France. I expect them to put on a much disciplined performance, but it is very unlikely for them to break the jinx against the Danes.
This match may end in a draw and goals will be hard to come by. A safe prediction will be Denmark win or draw double chance and we could see under 2.5 goals.