Iceland v Portugal Betting: Strikers set to shine in Saint-Etienne

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Having eased off defensively since their historic qualification, Al Hain-Cole expects the underdogs to serve up an entertaining Euro 2016 debut against Ronaldo and Co.

Minnows Iceland will be hoping to cause an upset when they take on Portugal at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Tuesday’s Euro 2016 clash.
 
Taking part in their first ever major tournament, the country of just over 330,000 inhabitants are 21/4 (6.25) outsiders with NetBet to record a shock win against their illustrious opponents.

In contrast, the 2004 runners-up have reached at least the quarter-finals in each of the last five tournaments, and are 5/8 (1.62) favourites to get off to a winning start in Saint-Etienne. Portugal have not drawn any of their last 21 matches, but you can get odds of 14/5 (3.80) on them being held to a stalemate in this one.


 
Although the smallest ever nation to reach a major competition, the manner in which Iceland achieved qualification was that of a far more seasoned competitor.
 
Having raced out of the blocks to win six of their opening seven qualifiers – including two victories over the Netherlands - Lars Lagerback and Heimir Hallgrimsson’s team were able to book their tickets to France with two matches to spare by drawing 0-0 with Kazakhstan.
 
However, seven defeats and just three wins in 11 matches since that goalless stalemate suggest the underdogs will need to up their game against Cristiano Ronaldo and Co., particularly in the defensive third.


 
With 22 goals conceded and just two clean sheets recorded in their 11-game stretch since qualification, the Icelandic backline will do well to keep out an opposition attack that put seven past Estonia on Ronaldo’s return to the squad following Real Madrid’s Champions League triumph.
 
Nevertheless, having found the net in all but one of those 11 matches, odds of 6/5 (2.20) look good on them ensuring over 2.5 goals in an end-to-end encounter against Fernando Santos’ team. That bet would have paid out in eight of Iceland’s last nine games, as well as three of the previous four for Portugal.

Over 2.5 goals at 6/5 (2.20) for a 1.5pt stake with NetBet

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