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Euro 2016 Match Preview: Iceland vs Hungary

Euro 2016 Match Preview: Iceland vs Hungary Preview: Iceland vs Hungary
These sides provided two of the biggest upsets in the opening round of group games. Iceland held Portugal to a 1-1 draw - much to the chagrin of Cristiano Ronaldo - while Hungary recorded a 2-0 win against an Austrian side currently 10th in the Fifa rankings (above both England and Italy).

For Hungary, making their first appearance at a major tournament for 30 years, it was very much a victory worth waiting for. That was certainly the case for striker Adam Szalai, whose opening goal in Bordeaux was his first in 41 games for club and country - ending a barren run stretching back to December 2014, when he scored for Bundesliga side Hoffenheim. It was also Hungary's first at the European Championship finals since their last appearance, in 1972.

While Hungary are trying to recapture past glories, this is new territory for their opponents. The reaction to Iceland's spirited draw with the Portuguese was overshadowed by Cristiano Ronaldo's ungracious remarks. The Real Madrid forward complained: "I thought they'd won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end… this shows a small mentality and they are not going to do anything in the competition."


Iceland could name the same side which began the 1-1 draw against Portugal on Tuesday.

Hungary are without right-back Attila Fiola, who suffered an ankle injury in the 2-0 win against Austria in Bordeaux.

Zoltan Stieber will hope to earn a start after coming off the bench to score against the Austrians.

Victory for Hungary would guarantee they progress to the knock-out stage of the tournament.


  • Iceland have won three of 10 games against Hungary, losing the other seven.
  • The six competitive meetings have produced three wins each.
  • The Hungarians have won the last five encounters - scoring at least three times in the last three games.
  • Hungary beat Iceland 4-0 in a friendly in Budapest in August 2011 - that is the only meeting in the last decade.


  • Iceland had just four shots in their opening game against Portugal. Only Northern Ireland, with two, had fewer attempts at goal in the opening round of games.
  • Against Portugal, they had 27.8% possession (as measured by Opta) - the lowest figure of any side in the first round of Euro 2016 matches.
  • Hannes Halldorsson made eight saves against Portugal - the most by a goalkeeper at the European Championship since England's Joe Hart against Italy in Euro 2012.
  • Halldorsson attempted more passes than any other Icelandic player against Portugal (35, according to Uefa statistics).
  • Goalscorer Birkir Bjarnason tried only five passes (completing four) - despite playing 90 minutes in midfield.


  • The Hungarians last won back-to-back games at a major tournament at the 1966 World Cup - beating Brazil 3-1 at Goodison Park then Bulgaria 3-1 at Old Trafford.
  • They have never won more than one match at a European Championship finals.
  • Hungary have lost just two of their last 13 games (W6, D5).
  • Zoltan Gera has scored three goals in two appearances against Iceland.
  • Gera made seven tackles against Austria - more than any other player in the first round of matches.

Possible line-ups
Iceland: Halldorsson; Sævarsson, R Sigurdsson, Árnason, Skúlason; Gudmundsson, G Sigurdsson, Gunnarsson, Bjarnason; Sigthórsson, Bödvarsson.
Hungary: Király; Lovrencsics, Guzmics, Lang, Kádár; Gera; Németh, Nagy, Kleinheisler, Dzsudzsák; Szalai.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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