Our prediction for this Euro 2020 match:
Iceland and Romania face each other in Reykjavik in the European Championship playoffs semi-final. Iceland made a slow start to their UEFA Nations League campaign, with the team suffering back-to-back losses to England (0-1) and Belgium (1-5). The hosts are low on confidence ahead of the visit of Romania, but they should never be written off just yet. The Romanians, on the other hand, aim to build on the UEFA Nations League win over Austria.
The Tricolori look sharp in front of goal, and given Iceland’s attacking potential, we believe that there is a big value in betting on both teams to score. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since 1997 when they faced each other in the World Cup qualifiers. Back then Romania rolled over Iceland in both meetings (4-0, 4-0), but the Icelanders are no longer considered a cannon fodder.
Highlighted Player (Gylfi Sigurdsson):
Arguably one of Iceland’s most famous footballers ever, Gylfi Sigurdson was born In Reykjavik on 9 September 1989, but he never played for an Icelandic club on senior level. Having shown a great deal of potential while playing for FH and Breidablik youth teams, the attacking midfielder was snatched by Reading in 2008 and he has since spent the majority of his career in England.
Sigurdsson also went on to represent Hoffenheim and Tottenham Hotspur, but he played his best football during the two spells with Swansea City, scoring 25 goals in first 85 Premier League games for the Swans. Sigurdsson became famous for his dangerous free-kicks and killer passes in the final third, but he was never given a genuine opportunity to prove his worth while at Tottenham Hotspur.
The highly rated footballer had a key role to play as Iceland secured their first ever appearance at a major tournament finals, scoring 6 goals in 10 Euro 2016 qualifiers to ensure he would remain in the history books for years to come.
Highlighted Team (Romania):
Romania were one of just four European sides to take part at the first ever World Cup in 1930, and the team have since achieved respectable results on the international stage, albeit failing to challenge for major trophies.
Led by arguably their best ever footballer Gheorghe Hagi, the Tricolorii narrowly missed out on the semi-finals at the 1994 World Cup in the United States, losing to Sweden on penalties. Romania made a total of seven appearances at the World Cup finals, while qualifying for five European Championship tournaments. The Tricolorii went the farthest in 2000, when they were eliminated by Italy in the quarter-finals.
Tied at the top of the goalscoring charts, Gheorghe Hagi and Adrian Mutu are the only two Romanian footballers to have gained worldwide recognition, but Dorinel Munteanu, Dan Petrescu, Gheorghe Popescu and Viorel Moldovan are also worth mention. Romania play their home games at the Arena National in Bucarest.