Group F takes centre stage on Saturday as the two underdogs of the group, Iceland and Hungary face off in Marseille. Jake Jackman is here with his selections in what should be a game of goals.
Saturday 18th June 2016 – 17:00 BST
EURO 2016 – GROUP F
ICELAND vs. HUNGARY
These two sides have had a great start to the tournament and have put themselves in a great position to qualify. Hungary put in a convincing performance to beat Austria and Iceland were spirited to get a point against Ronaldo. This is going to be a tight match and it is a hard one to call. Neither of these countries have a great history in international tournaments. It will be interesting how they deal with the frequency of matches and the pressure to qualify. It is easy to put in a good showing in the opening match, but it is those sides that put in consistent performances that will do well at this tournament.
Hungary don’t have many standout names, but their squad is close knit and their style of play is also good on the eye. Against Austria, they retained possession well and looked a threat against a strong defence. They will take a lot of confidence from that and will fancy their chances against Iceland, who played well against Portugal, but never looked convincing at the back. I think both sides will score in this one, and that is a theme with Iceland. Both sides have scored in five of Iceland’s last six matches, so back both sides to score on Saturday.
In terms of Iceland, they are a well drilled outfit, but do lack quality, especially at the back. They battled to a hard earned draw against Portugal and do have some exciting players in attack, with Gylfi Sigurdsson showing his ability with a good display on Tuesday. They have put themselves in a great position to qualify, but they will be looking at this fixture for a win, to reduce the pressure going into the last match against Austria.
Many people were concerned about Hungary’s quality, but in Adam Nagy and Laszlo Kleinheisler, they have a couple of young players that really impressed in their opening match. Zoltan Gera and Gabor Kiraly both showed that they can still compete at this level, and the experience they offered was crucial in getting Hungary the win. There are still doubts about their ability to put that level of performance in consistently, especially the older players having to play three matches in just over a week. Their chances of qualifying are now much enhanced, but they will be looking at this fixture as their best opportunity to pick up further points.
This match is a difficult one to predict and like I said earlier, I expect both sides to score. Hungary may set up more defensively as they already have three points, while Iceland will be a lot more aggressive than they were against Portugal. I will tip Iceland to get the win, as Hungary put so much into their opening game and could find themselves wanting on Saturday. Iceland put in some excellent performances in qualifying and there is much more to come from them at this tournament.