Iceland vs France:World champions France take on Iceland on Friday in 2020 UEFA European Championship qualifying at Laugardalsvollur in Reykjavik.
Just three points separate the two teams in Group H going into the match. France are second in the standings but level on points with leaders Turkey, while Iceland are just three points behind in third place.
France are favourites for victory, which will set them up well for Monday’s crucial meeting with Turkey, but Iceland can take confidence from a perfect home record in qualifying so far.
Date: Friday, October 11
Time: 7:45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. ET
TV: Sky Sports Football (UK), ESPN2, TUDN (U.S.)
Live Stream: Sky Go (UK), Univision Now, (U.S.)
Odds (courtesy of Caesars): Iceland 33-5, Draw 17-5, France 9-20
France head coach Didier Deschamps is without some key players in defence and attack ahead of his side’s two crucial qualifiers.
Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe has withdrawn due to injury and been replaced by Borussia Monchengladbach forward Alassane Plea:
Les Bleus have also lost Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to a dislocated elbow, while Lyon full-back Leo Dubois has been replaced by Everton defender Djibril Sidibe.
The loss of star striker Mbappe will be a particular blow for Deschamps, but he does not lack for forward options after naming seven attackers in his original squad:
France put four goals past Iceland when the two sides met in Paris in March, and they have scored 11 goals in their last three fixtures.
Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman has been in good form for the national side. He has three goals in his last two outings for Les Bleus and could have played his way into the starting XI:
Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud will also be hoping for some game time after managing just one start for the Blues this season under head coach Frank Lampard.
Iceland’s hopes of qualification took a blow after a 4-2 defeat to Albania on September 10, but a win on Friday would see them draw level on points with France.
The hosts have beaten group leaders Turkey, Albania and Moldova at home in qualifying and have won seven and drawn two of their last nine European qualifiers in front of their own fans.
AIK striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson is a man in form with two goals in his last two games for his country, while Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson has a fine record at international level with 20 goals in 69 games.
However, France have never lost to Iceland in 14 matches between the two sides and look to have the quality and experience required to pick up the win despite the absence of some star names.