The second international tournament out of 3 this summer will begin in France, which is EURO 2016. This tournament generally is considered one of the best tournaments around the world, on par with the World Cup in the eyes of many, as it has most of the top teams in the world.
Austria come into their first game of Euro2016 with a mixed bag of form in the friendly games coming into this tournament. They have won 2 (Malta & Albania) while losing 3 (Netherlands, Turkey and Switzerland) in that duration showcasing the inconsistencies that they face. They played well in qualifying remaining one of the few unbeaten teams going through Russia, Sweden and Montenegro. Their goal scoring exploits will rely on Marko Jako and Marko Arnautovic, other than that they will rely on a lot of midfielders to make runs to score including Martin Harnik, David Alaba, Julian Baumgartlinger and Zlatko Junuzovic. Defensively they have shown to be strong in their qualifying conceding just 5 goals in their 9 games and will rely a lot on captain Martin Fuchs and Sebastian Prodl as the experienced heads to keep things calm at the back.
Hungary qualified to Euro2016 by coming 3rd in a group that saw Northern Ireland and Romania qualify ahead of them. They had to squeeze through against Norway in the playoffs and have failed to win any of their 3 friendly games since qualifying. Their biggest problem will be offensively, as was witnessed in their last friendly game against Germany, where they managed just 1 shot on target, even Ukraine managed more. They will rely a lot on Szalai, Priskin and Gera as 3 experienced heads with a lot of goals behind them, to help them in this encounter. Defensively they have been shipping goals in 6 out of their last 8 games in all competitions, which does not speak well about them only Ronald Juhasz has got experience with over 90 caps. Not to mention that none of their defenders plays at a higher level outside Hungary and Poland.
Austria will be aiming to put in a strong performance in this one from a group that they should get out of, considering they went undefeated in qualifying. I think Austria will beat Hungary and will have too much quality for them.
Portugal v Iceland – Portugal Over 1.5 Goals @ 1.88 (888Sport) – 2.5 points
Portugal v Iceland – Ronaldo Anytime Scorer @ 1.94 (888Sport) – 2.5 points
Portugal come into this group as a favourite to win this along with Austria, Hungary and Iceland. They have lost a few narrow games to Bulgaria and England in their friendlies, but did well to top their group with just 1 loss against the Albanians early on in the qualifying. Portugal have since done decently well winning 7 out of their last 10 games. A lot of their scoring relies on their talismanic forward Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo missed a few international games due to Champions League commitments, but if you exclude that game, he has netted 6 goals in his last 3 games. He netted 2 in their last game thanks to quality assists from Ricardo Quaresma, who has also found out his good form with 2 goals and 2 assists. He will also rely on the likes of Nani, Joao Moutinho, Renato Sanches to provide additional service to him in order to score a goal; and all of them can also find the back of the net themselves.
Iceland have struggled very badly defensively in their last few games, conceding goals in 8 out of their last 11 games (Liechtenstein, Turkey and Finland were the only games they conceded less). They have their defenders majorly based in Scandinavia, which does not produce the highest quality of football around. Their goalkeeper is playing in Hammarby in Sweden and are struggling the relegation zone, to showcase the tough time they are having. The Iceland team had qualified to this tournament by beating teams like Holland, Czech Republic and Turkey; but have struggled to find their form defensively since October last year.
The shaky defence that Iceland have and the form that Cristiano Ronaldo showcases, makes it ripe for the Portuguese forward to find the back of the net. I am backing Cristiano Ronaldo as an Anytime Goalscorer in this game of Portugal v Iceland. I am also backing Over 1.5 Portuguese Goals in this game.
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