#360fans – Portugal vs Iceland – Euro 2016 Group F UAE fans preview

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Who do you think will win between Portugal and Iceland?

Ahead of their Group F clash in Saint-Etienne on Tuesday, Portugal and Iceland UAE-based fans give their verdict on the game.

To gain an insight into the mindset of the fans we asked UAE fans to share with us their predictions, likely line-ups and players to watch.

Do you agree or have they missed the mark? Use #360Fans to share with us your thoughts.

PORTUGAL – Francisco Alves (Architect, Dubai)

Judging by the promising performance shown in the last friendly match before Euro 2016, Portugal’s confidence levels should be high enough to get through the match against Iceland with ease.

Ricardo Quaresma was the absolute star of the show, scoring twice and providing two assists in the 7-0 thrashing of Estonia, and hopefully he recovers from an injury he picked up at the end of the game. We are obviously hoping that Cristiano Ronaldo finds himself fully fit too after the long and prolific season he has just had. If Quaresma doesn’t recover, Nani will start and could also be a good solution to unlock what I expect to be a strong and hard to penetrate Icelandic defence.

Looking at Portugal’s back-line, the possibility of including Raphael Guerreiro in the starting line-up got a bit stronger after his performance against Estonia. For the past days, rumours about his imminent signing by Borussia Dortmund should give him a boos and coach Fernando Santos should make the most of it. Compared to Eliseu, he gives a more attacking depth to Portugal’s left-wing but may not guarantee such a strong man-to-man defending when facing physical opponents like the Icelandic forwards.

Overall, Portugal has enough individual quality to overcome this first challenge but should be wary that over-confidence often leads to anxiety and may unsettle their prospects of progressing from the group stage.

PREDICTION: Portugal 3 -1 Iceland

LIKELY PORTUGAL XI: Rui Patricio; Vieirinha, Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho, Eliseu; Danilo, Joao Moutinho, Joao Mario, Andre Gomes; Ricardo Quaresma, Cristiano Ronaldo.

PORTUGAL PLAYER TO WATCH: Ricardo Quaresma – Outstanding against Estonia, on this form he has the ability to put on a one-man-show packed with dazzling, skillful dribbles and once and for all end the self-sabotage and reach the world-class level he has always threatened.

ICELAND PLAYER TO FEAR: Gylfi Sigurdsson – Though Eidur Gudjohnsen is perhaps the most identifiable figure in the Icelandic squad, Swansea’s playmaker is the one more used to a high level of competition and,  judging by his good season in England, I’m sure he will be a constant threat to Portugal’s defence.

WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME: Barasti Beach Bar

ICELAND – Sæmundur St. Magnusson (Private Client Advisor, Dubai)

Although we qualified well, Iceland’s form has been mixed in the lead up to Euro 2016. We lost 3-2 away to near neighbours Norway but rounded things off with a solid 4-0 home win against Liechtenstein, thanks to goals from Sigporsson, Saevarsson, Finnbogason and Eidur Gudjohnsen.

You can’t really take too much from these friendlies, after all Liechtenstein is one thing, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal will be a different beast in the opening match of the European Championship.

It is a big moment for Iceland, playing at our first ever major international tournament, and I just hope the players aren’t overawed by the occasion. They certainly showed in qualifying that they can handle the pressure of important games and although Portugal is the worst possible first game, I believe Iceland can spring a surprise.

The form of the Iceland national team has not been so good in the last friendly games. But the last game we won 4-0 at home against Lichtenstein. Also we won Greece not so long ago, but we at not worried about the form in friendly games. In the end they don’t count.

PREDICTION: Portugal 0-1 Iceland

LIKELY ICELAND XI: Halldorsson, Skulason, Arnason, Sigurdsson, Sævarsson, Bjarnason, Gunnarsson, Sigurdsson, Gudmundsson, Bödvarsson, Sigþorsson.

ICELAND PLAYER TO WATCH: Gylfi Sigurdsson – Our top scorer in qualifying and our most creative player – has a habit of scoring important goals for Iceland.

PORTUGAL PLAYER TO FEAR: Cristiano Ronaldo – What can be said that hasn’t already. The Real Madrid star is quite simply one of the best players in the world and a scary prospect, even when he’s not on top form.

WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME: Many Icelandic fans will be at Reform Social & Grill at the Lakes in Dubai.

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#360fans: Ireland vs Sweden - UAE fans preview

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Shane Long and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be key.

Ahead of their Group E clash on Monday, UAE-based Republic of Ireland and Sweden fans give their verdict on the game.

Do you agree or have they missed the mark? You can share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND – Stephen Fleming (Teacher, Dubai)

Ireland go into their opening game full of confidence after a relatively good qualifying campaign. A recent draw against the Dutch won’t have hampered spirits while a defeat by minnows Belarus might actually have been the perfect tonic to keep the squad focused ahead of the crucial game against Sweden.

Selection wise, Martin O’Neill has a few tough choices to make. The goalkeeping position looks to be a straight shootout between the impressive Keiren Westwood and Darren Randolph, with the West Ham man likely to be given the nod on account of his form in qualifying. In the heart of the defence I think Shane Duffy could get a look in if O’Neill wants to add some pace and height to his defence. He is one defender who can at least deal with the aerial threat of Swedish dangerman Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The main injury worry for Ireland at the moment is Jon Walters, who has an Achilles problem but has resumed full training in recent days. If he’s fit, O’Neill will probably start with a diamond 4-4-2 with Glenn Whelan at its base. If Walters is out I’d expect a switch to 4-5-1 with James McClean coming into the side.

PREDICTION: Ireland 2-1 Sweden

LIKELY IRELAND XI: Randolph; Coleman, Duffy, O’Shea, Brady; Whelan, McCarthy, Hendrick, Hoolahan; Long, Walters

IRELAND PLAYER TO WATCH: Shane Long – He is in great form at the moment and hopefully we will see him carry this into Euro 2016. He is Ireland’s main source of goals from open play and is possibly the most in-form striker in all of Group E. His speed will be key in getting behind an old and sluggish Swedish defence.

SWEDEN PLAYER TO FEAR: Zlatan Ibrahimovic – The obvious answer but Ireland can’t afford to give him any space and the danger is that he likes to drift out to pick up a breaking ball which in turn makes the defence play a high line.

WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME: McGettigans in JLT is the best place to watch the game in my opinion. There will be a great atmosphere by whoever attends and like the fans in France, if Ireland win expect the night to last even longer!

SWEDEN – Bengt Ternström (Chief Executive, Dubai)

After going out at the group stage of Euro 2012 and not even qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, Sweden have a real point to prove at this European Championship, a tournament that could well be the last international outing for our leader and legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Results have been mixed in the build up to Euro 2016, a 0-0 draw with Slovenia doing little to inspire confidence, though the 3-0 victory over Wales now looks even better after their win against Slovakia in Group B. Our group is a tough one and it is imperative that we start well against Ireland.

We last played them in a pair of World Cup qualifiers in 2013, drawing 0-0 at home and winning 2-1 in Dublin. Our team looks very different now, with only four players who started that match likely to be in the first XI at the Stade de France. Still, Zlatan remains and he may be all we need!

PREDICTION: Ireland 1-2 Sweden

LIKELY SWEDEN XI: Isaksson; Lustig, Granqvist, Johansson, Olsson; Durmaz, Kallstrom, Lewicki, Forsberg; Ibrahimovic, Berg

SWEDEN PLAYER TO WATCH: Zlatan Ibrahimovic – In the air, on the ground, from set pieces – Zlatan is a threat all over the park. Our captain and a national hero – if he plays well then Sweden play well.

IRELAND PLAYER TO FEAR: Robbie Keane – He may be getting older but he’s not getting any worse at finishing! Ireland’s leading scorer netted against us last time we faced them and he is still a real fox in the box so the defence will need to be on guard.

WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME: Media One Hotel – should be lots of Swedes there!

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#360fans: Spain vs Czech Republic - UAE supporters preview

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Who will win between Spain and Czech Republic?

Ahead of their Group D clash on Monday, Spain and Czech Republic UAE-based fans give their verdict on the game.

To gain an insight into the mindset of the fans we asked UAE fans to share with us their predictions, likely line-ups and players to watch.

Do you agree or have they missed the mark? You can share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

CZECH REPUBLICOndřej Piškula (Football Coach, Dubai)

Since 1996, the Czech Republic have played four matches against Spain. We lost three and drew one. It is time to do something about it and show Europe that Czech football is still among the very best. There is no better opportunity to do so than in the match against the reigning champions.

The past few weeks have seen preparation for Euro 2016 go well for our team as we beat Malta and Russia in friendlies. Unfortunately we lost against South Korea but the performance was still good, with the team discovering areas of development that I’m sure would have been addressed.

Everything looks ready for the big opening as we don´t have any injuries and all the players can´t wait to get started. Let’s forget the near misses, forget the past and make the history now. Come on Czech!

PREDICTION: Czech Republic 2-1 Spain

LIKELY CZECH REPULIC XI: Cech, Kaderabek, Sivok, Suchy, Gebre, Selassie, Sural, Dockal, Rosicky, Darida, Krejci, Lafata

CZECH REPUBLIC PLAYER TO WATCH: Tomas Necid (above) has shown very good form as he assisted the first and scored the second goal in friendly match against Russia. He may not start but if he does, it will be exciting to watch.

SPAIN PLAYER TO WATCH: Andres Iniesta. For me he is the best player in the Spanish team, a key cog in La Roja’s machine. In fact, he is the engine, transmision, and steering all at once. A great football player who is always worth watching.

WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME: Barasti Beach Bar

SPAIN – Borja Burguillos (Global Strategy Manager, Dubai)

Spain is living a change of generation which is always complicated – the era of post-Xavi as many fans call it!  Vicente del Bosque has decided to make a soft change by keeping some of the more experienced players and mixing in new ones. Only time will tell if it is the right decision to experiment in this way at Euro 2016.

We certainly have a very good defence and midfielders but there is an acute lack of top-level strikers. Oh how we’d like to have a Raul, David Villa, or the Fernando Torres of old. Still, it is an opportunity for Nolito and Alvaro Morata to show at the Euros whether they really are top players.

Obviously we are defending champions so expectation is still high, even after the disappointment of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. I still have confidence in Spain. The game with the Czech Republic will be hotly contested but Spain will win.

PREDICTION: Spain 2 – 1 Czech Republic

LIKELY SPAIN XI: De Gea; Juanfran, Ramos, Pique, Alba; Busquets, Thiago, Iniesta, Fabregas, Lucas Vazquez; Nolito

CZECH REPUBLIC PLAYER TO WATCH: Petr Cech – The Arsenal goalkeeper (above) has vast experience and will be a key player for the team. He could keep the score at nil on his own such is his quality – our players will need to finish well to beat him.

SPAIN PLAYER TO WATCH: Lucas Vasquez – While Andres Iniesta is the reference in midfield, Lucas Vasquez has burst into the national team and is hungry to make an impact. He has pace and already experience of playing under pressure.

WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME: Lock Stock & Barrel in Tecom. Amazing pure football environment

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