Our football match prediction:
Finland are low on confidence ahead of Saturday’s football match against Iceland. The Finns are on a five-game losing run in their qualifying group and they are desperate to put an end to the negative trend. Markku Kanerva’s men have nothing to play for against Iceland as they have collected only one point from possible 18 in the World Cup qualifiers, but their pride will surely be at stake this time out. Iceland, on the other hand, head into the match following back-to-back wins over the likes of Kosovo and Croatia and we predict that they are going to extend their winning run in Group I. The Icelanders sit in second place in the standings and they are level on points with Croatia ahead of Saturday’s clash. Gylfi Sigurdsson, who joined Everton in the summer transfer window, will be the man to watch in the away team and the opposition defenders should have him at bay.
Highlighted Player (Roman Eremenko):
Roman Eremenko is an experienced midfielder who adds valuable quality to CSKA Moscow’s play with his passing skills, great vision and knack for goal. The 29-year-old Russian-born Finland international has so far played for the likes of Udinese, Siena, Rubin Kazan, but he is best remembered for his spell at Ukraine giants Dynamo Kyiv where he became captain helping the club win Ukrainian Premier League in 2009, and played in the Champions and Europa Leagues. He moved to CSKA Moscov in 2014 and has so far made over 50 Russian Premier League appearances during two seasons for the Army Men. His impact with the Russian giants was immediate with Eremenko picking up several monthly awards for the Best Player in the league, while he was named the Russian Football Premier League MVP of the 2014-15 season.
Highlighted Team (Iceland):
Iceland had little to no success during the first 60 years of entering the FIFA competitions, failing to qualify to a single major tournament in that period, but the team then went on to make tremendous progress at the start of the 21st century. The Nordic side narrowly missed out on a place at the 2014 World Cup, losing in the play-off to Croatia, but they then enjoyed a thoroughly impressive qualifying campaign to reach the Euro 2016 finals, taking 20 points from 10 matches to leave Turkey and Netherlands trailing in their wake. As a result, the generation featuring players like Gylfi Sigurdsson, Aron Gunnarsson, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Emil Hallfredsson will go down as one of the most successful in the national team history and it could be quite some time before another team repeat their success. Even if he was only used as a bit-part player during the Euro 2016 qualifiers, Eidur Gudjohnsen has got to be mentioned as the first Icelandic footballer to have played for top European sides.