Portugal v Iceland: Back Ronaldo and co. to edge high-scoring affair

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Iceland belied their tiny size to reach Euro 2016, but they’ll be unable to contain today’s illustrious opponents and the sensational Cristiano Ronaldo.

This isn’t set to be quite the one-sided affair of Portugal’s last game – a 7-0 trouncing of Estonia – but having top-scored in their qualifying group, they’re set to break down an Iceland side who have begun to struggle defensively in recent months.

Indeed, despite beginning their qualifying campaign in outstanding form, Strakamir okkar (or ‘Our boys’) have won just three times in their last 12 outings, and one of those victories was a rather hollow win over minnows Liechtenstein.

However, a porous defence – rather than a poor attack – has been Iceland’s issue. They’ve actually scored 12 times in their last five games, despite losing three of those.

And the likelihood of a high-scoring Portuguese win is also boosted by the head-to-head record between these sides. They met in qualifying for Euro 2012, with Portugal winning both meetings – 5-3 at home and 3-1 in Reykjavik.

Despite the fact those games took place in 2010 and 2011, a number of the players who featured for both sides in those games have made the cut for France, including veteran Eidur Gudjohnsen and former Man United star Nani. That means the smart bet could be on history to repeat itself here.

Portugal look the best value in the match betting, with 4/7 for them to continue their 100 per cent record against Iceland, while the inexperienced Nordic side are 7/1 for victory, with 3/1 for the draw.

However, the best bet could be on Portugal to win and both teams to score at 16/5, with Iceland having scored in all of their last 11 outings, but tasted defeat in seven of those games.

Meanwhile, a repeat of that 5-3 victory by the Selecao in the last meeting between these two could tempt a few at a lengthy 325/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.