To gain an insight into the mindset of the fans we asked UAE fans to share with us their predictions and players to watch.
ICELAND – Sæmundur St. Magnusson (Private Client Advisor, Dubai)
The game against Portugal was more than I, or any Iceland fan, could have hoped for. There are only 100 professional Icelandic football players from which to choose a national team – and those boys picked did an unbelievable job in Saint Etienne.
There are no injuries to report ahead of a game against Hungary that Iceland should feel confident of winning. If we could keep Cristiano Ronaldo at bay surely we can stop Hungary’s strikers from scoring, can’t we?
One major concern is fatigue. Our players left everything out on the pitch against Portugal and many will surely be feeling physically tired.
Still, a win could be enough to get Iceland through to the last-16 of the European Championship – that thought alone should be enough to inspire the players in Marseille.
PREDICTION: Hungary 0-1 Iceland
LIKELY ICELAND XI: Halldorsson; Skulason, Arnason, Sigurdsson, Sævarsson; Bjarnason, Gunnarsson, Sigurdsson, Gudmundsson; Bödvarsson, Sigþorsson.
ICELAND PLAYER TO WATCH: Eidur Gudjohnsen – Portugal was a different kind of game so Gudjohnsen did not get a chance to come on as a substitute. Against Hungary though, I’m tipping him to come off the bench and score the winner, which would be fitting for arguably the greatest player to have pulled on an Iceland jersey.
HUNGARY PLAYER TO FEAR: Balázs Dzsudzsák – He is the star of the national team, whose fearless running could prove very dangerous for Iceland’s defenders.
WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME: Kickers Sport Bar at Dubai Sports City.
HUNGARY – Viktor Jemeljanov (Dubai)
Hungarians are still pinching themselves after our incredible result against Austria. What a joy it was to watch the 2-0 victory, our first win at a major international tournament since beating Canada by that scoreline 30 years ago at the 1986 World Cup.
We can only hope that every team we play underestimates us as Hungary did, though we have to be VERY careful with our next opponent, who also got an unbelievable result against Portugal last time out. For once, we probably find ourselves as favourites – though I’m sure Iceland will be more adventurous than they were against Portugal.
In terms of Hungary injury news, one of our key players is out. Right-back Attila Fiola misses this one after suffering an injury against Austria, with Barnabas Bese most likely to replace him. A win for either side will likely secure their place in the last-16 so there is an awful lot at stake. The last – and only time – we played Iceland was a 4-0 friendly victory in Budapest back in 2011. A repeat of that in Marseille would do just fine, thanks.
PREDICTION: Hungary 2-1 Iceland
LIKELY HUNGARY XI: Kiraly; Fiola, Guzmics, Lang, Kadar; Nemeth, Nagy, Kleinhesiler, Stieber; Dzsudzsak; Szalai
HUNGARY PLAYER TO WATCH: Balázs Dzsudzsák – Our tricky winger played well against Austria and has all the tools necessary to break down Iceland’s defence.
ICELAND PLAYER TO FEAR: Eidur Gudjohnsen – The former Chelsea and Barcelona striker didn’t feature against Portugal but I would expect him to play some part against Hungary. Despite his advancing years, he is still a dangerous marksman.
WHERE TO WATCH: Barasti Beach Stadium