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Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson
Photo: Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson.

Men’s Football Team Takes on France in Crucial Match

The Men’s National Football Team will compete against France tonight in a crucial match for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers. France will be hoping to overtake group-leader Turkey (the two teams are level on points although Turkey has conceded fewer goals). Meanwhile, Iceland is also challenging for the top two places (Iceland is three points behind Turkey and France). The top two teams in each group qualify.

Iceland and France have gone head-to-head a total of 14 times. Les Bleus have been victorious ten times, with four matches resulting in a draw (France leads 41-12 on aggregate). During the two teams’ first match in 1957, during the World Cup qualifiers, France embarrassed Iceland with an 8-0 rout.

In March, the two teams faced off in Paris for their first match in the qualifiers. France beat Iceland 4-0.

Both teams will play without their team captains: Icelandic midfielder Aron Gunnarsson (Al-Arabi) and French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) have both been ruled out with injuries. Iceland will also have to do without Hörður Björgvin Magnússon (CSKA Moscow), while Les Bleus will be without Paul Pogba (Manchester United) and Kylian Mbappé (PSG).

As RÚV reports, however, France will field a strong team. Antoine Grizemann (Barcelona); Raphael Varane (Real Madrid); N’Golo Kanté and Olivier Giroud (Chelsea); Kingsley Coman, Lucas Hernández, Benjamin Pavard and Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich) are all expected to play.

Italian Gianluca Rocchi will officiate.

The match – which is long since sold out – will begin at 18:45 at Laugardalsvöllur stadium in Reykjavík tonight.

Iceland qualified for the UEFA European Championship for the first time in 2016. The team advanced through the group stages and secured a 2-1 victory against England in the round of 16. The lost 2-5 against France in the quarter-finals.

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