Match Preview: France vs Iceland

The World Champions host Iceland in the second matchday of UEFA EURO 2020 qualifiers on Monday night.

France kicked off their UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying campaign with a 4-1 away win at Moldova on Friday night.

Iceland finished the UEFA Nations League losing all four games against Belgium and Switzerland, but they finally tasted victory in their EURO 2020 qualifying opener at Andoro three days ago.

Team news

France were already missing left-backs Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Mendy, while Kingsley Coman withdrew from the squad before the opener in Moldova with a back injury.

Different four players scored in the game against Moldova – Griezmann, Varane, Giroud and Mbappe, while Paul Pogba provided an amazing assist for Griezmann’s opener.

Aron Gunnarsson picked up a knock against Andorra and is a doubt for Iceland. The captain’s absence could be a huge blow to their chances against France.

What did the managers say

Didier Deschamps says the French national team is the most beautiful thing that happened to him in football.

“The national team of France is the most beautiful thing that happened to me in my career as a footballer,” said Didier Deschamps via fff.fr.

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“There is nothing above your national team for me, from my first to my last selection, I’ve always considered it was a privilege to represent my country and it is still the same today. You can play in the biggest clubs and win many titles, but the World Cup and the Euro are the most important competitions.”

Erik Hamren believes that it is ‘a really nice challenge’ to play the World Champions on Monday night.

“I expect a tough game, of course, but also it’s a really nice challenge. We’ve left the UEFA Nations League behind us, now it is a new year and we want to focus and concentrate on these games.

“It was a long time without a win, but now we won and we can start all over again. From all the matches, no matter if you win or lose, you need to learn a lot. I expect a different game from October (when they played 2-2 in a friendly game), it is France, it is a competitive game and it is always a difference between a competitive game and a friendly game.”

Stats

France have lost only one competitive game since June 2017 – the 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands in last year’s UEFA Nations League.

Iceland have won 1 of 9 matches under Erik Hamren in all competitions

France is undefeated in the competitive games against Iceland, winning eight times in their 11 encounters.

Both club met each other in the quarter-finals of the UEFA EURO 2016, as France won the game 5-2 in Saint-Denis.

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