Ahead of their Group F match in Paris on Wednesday, Iceland and Austria 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.
ICELAND – Sæmundur St. Magnusson (Private Client Advisor, Dubai)
Such had the level of expectation for Iceland been transformed by the result against Portugal, it was hugely disappointing not to hold on for victory against Hungary in our second match.
The match against Portugal was a necessary defensive performance but, make no mistake, Iceland can play good football and we really sold ourselves short against Hungary. We were again excellent at the back – with the exception of Hungary’s agonizing equaliser of course – but in attack there was just not enough possession, not enough oomph.
However, we still have a chance of winning our group and our fate is in our hands. I’d expect to see one change to the starting XI with Eidur Gudjohnsen coming in for Böðvarsson, as we want to hold on to the ball more than we did in the last two games.
Unfortunately, Alfred Finnbogason has collected two yellow cards and is suspended which limits the attacking options at Lars Lagerback and Markus Hallgrimsson’s disposal.
PREDICTION: Iceland 1-0 Austria
LIKELY ICELAND XI: Halldorsson, Skulason, Arnason, Sigurdsson, Sævarsson, Bjarnason, Gunnarsson, Sigurdsson, Gudmundsson, Gudjohnsen, Sigþorsson.
ICELAND PLAYER TO WATCH: Gylfi Sigurdsson – Showed he is deadly from the penalty spot against Hungary but now we want to see him showing how deadly he is in open play too. He is our most creative player and as our top scorer in qualifying, also our most clear goal threat.
AUSTRIA PLAYER TO FEAR: Marko Arnautovic – The Stoke City winger and Zlatan Ibrahimovic doppelganger is fast, strong, offers good crosses and has an eye for a goal.
WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME: Kickers Sport Bar at Dubai Sports City.
AUSTRIA – Thomas Lattacher (Assistant Product Manager, Dubai)
Our last game, the 0-0 draw with Portugal, felt for most Austrian fans (myself included) like a win. It was definitely not a very glamorous performance but after the disappointment of the first game it will have injected a much-needed boost of confidence into the team.
Austria certainly owes our goalkeeper Robert Almer a huge debt of thanks for somehow keeping that clean sheet and keeping Cristiano Ronaldo at bay, with a little help from the goalpost for the penalty of course. Martin Hinteregger admitted he was the “happiest man in France” after seeing the spot-kick rebound off the goalframe, and it certainly put a smile on the faces of all the Austrian fans at Euro 2016 and around the world.
The upcoming game against Iceland will be just as exciting to watch as a win should be enough to take Austria through to the last-16. The same is true for Iceland, though, which should mean that both teams try to play offensive football right from the first moment. Both teams have a strong defence, though, so if we get chances it is imperative that we take them.
PREDICTION: Iceland 0-1 Austria
LIKELY AUSTRIA XI: Almer, Klein, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Fuchs, Ilsanker, Baumgartlinger, Harnik, Alaba, Arnautovic, Sabitzer
AUSTRIA PLAYER TO WATCH: Marko Arnautovic – He’s had a quiet tournament so far but I think the game will suit him better than the previous two because Austria will be more offensive-minded. He can beat players one-on-one which will be important if we are to create chances to win this game.
ICELAND PLAYER TO FEAR: Gylfi Sigurdsson – Their key man, Sigurdsson, dictates their strategy and it will be imperative for our two defensive central midfielders to keep him quiet.
WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME: Definitely ON42 in MediaOne hotel – most Austrians will be there so if you cheer for Alaba & Co, feel free to join!
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