By Ian S Palmer
Qualifying matches for the 2016 European Championships in France (Euro 2016) resume this weekend with a big Group A clash between Iceland and the Czech Republic on Friday, June 12 in Reykjavik. The Czech Republic leads Group A after five games with 13 points from four wins and a draw while Iceland is just one point and position behind them with a dozen points from four victories and a loss. The Czechs have scored 11 goals and allowed six against while Iceland has banged in 12 and conceded just two.
Euro 2016 Betting
Iceland vs Czech Republic – bet365 lists the Czech Republic as the favorite to take this game at 13/8 with Iceland 9/5 and a draw at 21/10
Holland sits in third place in Group A with seven points followed by Turkey with five, Latvia with three and Kazakhstan with one. The winner of the Iceland vs Czech Republic showdown will grab top spot in the group and a draw will keep the Czechs on top of the table with Iceland in second. The two teams met earlier in the qualifying stage with the Czech Republic coming out on top by a score of 2-1 score courtesy of an own goal by Iceland’s Jon Dadi Bodvarsson in Plzen last November.
Overall, the two nations have met nine times in the past in men’s senior competition with the Czech Republic/Czechoslovakia winning seven games and losing just one and drawing the other. Iceland’s lone victory against the Czech Republic came the last time they took them on at home, which was back in September of 2001 when they took a 3-1 decision in a 2002 World Cup qualifier. Iceland is on a five-game unbeaten streak at home going into this game with four wins and a draw. In addition, they haven’t allowed a goal against in their last four competitive matches at home.
The Czech Republic is one of 11 teams which are still unbeaten in Euro 2016 qualifiers at the halfway mark. The others are Italy, Croatia, Sweden, Austria, Wales, Belgium, England, Poland, Slovakia, and Romania. The Czechs have also been faring quite well away from home recently as they’ve won four straight competitive contests on the road. Soccer fans are eagerly awaiting this important clash as the game sold out over a month ago. Iceland still has long way to go, but if they can keep up the fine play the nation will qualify for its first ever major soccer tournament.