Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Although Iceland have had some heroic results in the last few years, they haven’t managed to beat Belgium or even force a tie in their nine encounters so far. Still, they have only met once in the last 40 years. The hardworking Icelandic players will hope that this time, in front of their home crowd in Reykjavik at the Laugardalsvöllur, will be the moment when they will finally triumph. However, that is not likely. Belgium, as are Iceland, are fresh from their trip to Russia where they played well but were eliminated by France in the semi-finals by a single goal. Iceland managed a single point in Russia. Belgium’s friendly match against Scotland a few days back has served as a tuning exercise for this, their opening, match in League A, Group 2 in the League of Nations, where they are joined by Switzerland, besides Iceland. Iceland are in bad form; their last win was against Indonesia in January.
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 (Belgium):
Present on the international stage since 1904, Belgium national team have had plenty of ups and downs in the past, finishing as runners up at the 1980 European Championship in Italy. The Red Devils also won the third place on home soil at the 1972 tournament, while they enjoyed some success at the World Cup finals as well.
Belgium qualified for 12 World Cup tournaments, reaching the semi-finals in 1986 and quarter-finals at the 2014 tournament in Brazil. It is the generation that played in Brazil that is believed to be the most talented team since the one featuring Enzo Scifo, Michel Preud’homme and Franky van der Elst.
Playing their home games at King Baudouin Stadium, the Red Devils have impressed at the start of the 21st century, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne just some of the world-class players in the squad. Following some impressive results in the Euro 2016 qualifiers and international friendlies, Belgium climbed to number 1 position in the FIFA Rankings in November 2015.