Iceland’s greatest triumph was their 2016 European Championship appearance. If they want to replicate that success at the next Euro, they have to make their mark at the Nations League, UEFA’s new tournament that offers football teams an early qualification for the European Championship.
The last time these two teams met has been almost exactly half a decade ago, on September 6, 2013.
They were drawn with Belgium and Switzerland in League A Group 2. The first match of this difficult group will be a clash between the Vikings and the Swiss on September 8. The bookies suggest that it will also see Iceland’s Nations League hopes crushed.
As online sportsbook news in the UK remind gamblers, Iceland has never beaten Switzerland: they lost 5 times and got 1 draw. However, even the last time these two teams met (Sep 6, 2013) has been almost exactly half a decade ago. The Icelandic team has been steadily improving since then, proving capable even of humiliating England, so Switzerland cannot hope for an easy match this time around.
What to expect from Switzerland
Two key players of the Swiss team, Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri, were at the risk of getting a two-match ban after they provoked the opposing team’s fans with a nationalist symbol in their World Cup game with Serbia. They escaped the ban, which would have expired by the clash with Iceland, anyway. Their presence will significantly improve Switzerland’s chances.
Xhaka is the playmaker of the team, able to feed strikers with excellent passes or score on his own. The team’s other strength is their defense, with the likes of Rodriguez, Schar and Lichtsteiner looking to stop opposing forwards.
However, they are less consistent on attack. Seferovic has not been in good form, and Shaqiri’s performance is uneven: he can be dangerous even from a long distance on his best days, but can be taken out of the game on a bad day. Despite these weaknesses, Switzerland’s chances of winning are estimated to be as strong as 1.80.
Can League A’s smallest team upset the official Switzerland vs Iceland betting odds?
There is an endless supply of amusing stories about this small nation’s football community, where everybody seems to know everybody. But Iceland’s run to the quarter-finals at the 2016 European Championship proved that they should not be underestimated.
Iceland is known for a formidable defense. They rely heavily on set-pieces and their tall players’ advantage at aerials. Switzerland has struggled against teams that defend well: Sweden knocked them out of the World Cup this summer with the kind of stubborn defending we can expect from the Vikings. Iceland has the potential to surprise Switzerland, especially if Shaqiri will not have a productive day.
How should you bet on the match
Iceland winning: 4.75
Draw or Iceland winning: 2.05
Maximum 2 goals in the match: 1.53
Since even the best online betting sites in the United Kingdom underestimate Iceland’s chances, betting on them could earn one a huge profit. Bet365 Sportsbook offers a 4.75 increase in case Iceland win and 3.40 returns if they get a draw.
For those who prefer safer bets, even the “Draw or Iceland” option gives a 2.05 reward. Considering how defensive both teams are, it is also a safe assumption that there will be at most 2 goals in the match (1.53).
Do you believe in the Vikings? Could Switzerland be the next major team they humiliate after England and Portugal? Visit Bet365 Sportsbook and exploit the favorable Switzerland vs Iceland betting odds!