Portugal disappointed at World Cup 2014 but, having gradually introduced a few promising younger players, they shook off a poor start with a loss to Albania to eventually qualify for UEFA’s Euro 2016 with ease.
Now 31 years old, this could feasibly be Cristiano Ronaldo’s last opportunity to grace a major international tournament with Portugal. The problem is everything is centred on Ronaldo and they need other players to take a more prominent role.
Iceland will be making their debut appearance on the major international stage, but there’s little reason to suggest that they could suffer from first-night nerves. They’ve been a team that has made significant strides in the international game for a few years now and their qualification was fully deserved, finishing second in what was a very tough group. The Dutch national team may have been in a state of turmoil over the past couple of years, but that was in part brought about by Iceland doing the double over them in qualification.
The only previous games between Portugal and Iceland were the two Euro 2012 qualifiers they played. Back then Portugal won 3-1 in Reyjavik and 5-3 in Porto, but Iceland are a lot more competitive and organised today.
This looks a difficult game to call, but Portugal might just have the extra quality to make them worth staking any Portugal v Iceland free bets on. The Portugal v Iceland betting odds do anticipate a Portugal victory, but it could also be worth checking out the price for Ronaldo to be the first goalscorer when prices become available. He is sure to want to make a big impression.