So, this is the final quarter final match of a very entertaining European Championships thus far and an opportunity for Lars Lagerback's Iceland to perform another giant killing after the impressive victory over England in the last 16. France were also impressive in the second half of their last 16 game against the Republic of Ireland and will fancy their chances of getting through to the semi-final stage. If there is one thing we have learned from these championships though is do not count out Iceland, when they play it seems that anything can happen.
France have stuttered through the competition so far and have been bailed out in the second half of most of the games they have played by the likes of Payet and Griezmann. Obviously it's good to have these players available to bail you out but it shouldn't be like that, its almost like they're waiting to go a goal down or until they're desperate for a goal until they perform. Eventually, playing like this will result in them crashing out of the competition. I don't think they're far away from clicking but they need to click soon or Iceland could embarrass them like they embarrassed England.
Iceland just keep proving their doubters wrong. They managed to finish 2nd in Group F despite having Portugal and Austria in there with them and had some very impressive performances against them with a late draw against the former and a late win against the latter, which produced a very comical response from an Icelandic commentator. They didn't exactly steal the victory from England, they outperformed them! They're very well drilled by Lars Lagerback and he will have a plan for France, whether it will produce a positive result will only reveal itself after the game but Iceland do have a chance.
I really want to say that I think Iceland will win but I really think France will end the Icelandic dream on Sunday. Iceland will certainly give France a game and will be excellent defensively and will also remember the tactics that were set out for them brilliantly. I just feel that France will come through this, it wouldn't shock me to see France go behind but I think they will rescue it again and send Iceland back home with their heads held high.
Iceland have beaten Austria, drawn against Portugal and beaten England so far in the competition, they could carry on and knock France out which I'm sure neutrals will be very pleased with. I think if they do manage to knock France out, it will be on penalties. There have been a few games already that have gone to penalties so it could also happen here, and some decent money could be made if it does.
I do think Iceland will bag a goal and I think it could be the first goal however, France have a much sturdier team physically and mentally than England and will not fall to pieces like England did. They have proven this already after going behind against Romania and the Republic of Ireland, they turned it around and sent the other 2 teams packing and if Iceland go 1 up in this game I can see a repeat of that from the French.
France should win this game, if they go 1 goal up then I don't think there will be any way back for the Icelandic team, France will start coasting through the game and I can see them winning both halves comfortably. That's where my money will be going.
Antoine Griezmann was outside bet for the Golden Boot before the tournament and he has the same amount of goals as the Golden Boot leader Gareth Bale after hitting top form against the Republic of Ireland. This guy has scored a hatful of goals for Atletico Madrid and he definitely knows where the goal is. He can score with his head and with his feet and has the mental game to accompany the technical side. He should definitely score in this game and I'm backing him to get the first to break the deadlock.
Dimitri Payet is a free kick specialist, we all know that. He is yet to score a free kick yet in the competition and this game could be the game that he puts an end to that. He has been in electric form so far in these championships and is a joy to watch. If he is given a free kick in an excellent position, don't be surprised to see it fly past Halldorsson in the Icelandic goal, who I feel has been a bit suspect so far.