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Preview: France v Iceland

Published: Saturday 2 July 2016, 18.40CET
Heimir Hallgrímsson has warned France that they "haven't seen Iceland's best game yet" as his remarkable side look to deny the ambitious hosts a berth in the semi-finals.
Preview: France v Iceland
Antoine Griezmann,Paul Pogba and Moussa Sissoko in training for France ©AFP/Getty Images

Tournament statistics


Goals scored13
Possession (%)52
Total attempts121
on target43
off target42
against woodwork6
Yellow cards13
Red Cards0
Fouls committed73
Fouls suffered70

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)
Published: Saturday 2 July 2016, 18.40CET

Preview: France v Iceland

Heimir Hallgrímsson has warned France that they "haven't seen Iceland's best game yet" as his remarkable side look to deny the ambitious hosts a berth in the semi-finals.

  • Didier Deschamps warns that first-time quarter-finalists Iceland "aren't here by chance"
  • Iceland joint-coach Lars Lagerbäck urges his side to"believe we can beat them"
  • The hosts must do without suspended duo N'Golo Kanté and Adil Rami
  • Les Bleus are unbeaten in 11 previous meetings with Iceland, winning three
  • The victors face Germany in the Marseille semi-final on Thursday

Possible line-ups

France: Lloris; Sagna, Koscielny, Umtiti, Evra; Pogba, Cabaye, Matuidi; Griezmann, Giroud, Payet.
: Kanté, Rami (both suspended)
Misses next match if booked: Giroud, Koscielny

Iceland: Halldórsson; Sævarsson, Árnason, R Sigurdsson, Skúlason; Gudmundsson, Gunnarsson, G Sigurdsson, B Bjarnason; Bödvarsson, Sigthórsson.
Misses next match if booked: Árnason, B Bjarnason, Gudmundsson, Gunnarsson, Halldórsson, Sævarsson, Sigthórsson, G Sigurdsson, Skúlason

Coach quotes
Didier Deschamps, France coach
The players know Iceland aren't here by chance. If they're here it's because they deserve to be and have quality. Long throws from 35 or 40 metres out are like free-kicks for them and we've come up with ways to deal with it. Don't reduce them to long throws, though. In open play they're capable of playing it on the deck. Iceland deserved to beat England, and they did it through the quality of their play.

France's path to the quarter-finals

Physically they are very strong and we'll have to battle for the ball. I can't make my players taller. I have players who can compete in the air. We have to be aggressive and watch out for flick-ons.

I've seen teams start well and finish badly; it's better to do things the other way round as we have been doing. When I see things aren't going well then I react, as I did in the last game when I sent Kingsley Coman to warm up in the 35th minute.

Lars Lagerbäck, Iceland joint-coach
I always say to players and media that in football you always have a realistic chance. I would say that France are a little bit of a favourite, but I won't call them a big favourite. Most important for us is that we go out tomorrow and believe we can beat them. If we have that attitude, I think we can cause them some problems.

Iceland's road to Saint-Denis

The players will really enjoy it and at the same time be really focused and play a good game. It's not often you have a chance to get to a semi-final, so I think that's motivation enough.

What I hear from Iceland and the support we have here, I understand that this is of course really big. Almost all the population are watching on TV or out in the streets. It would be fantastic to pay that back and [cause] a bit more of an upset at this EURO, so we can let the people and fans really feel the joy we feel when it's going so well.

Heimir Hallgrímsson, Iceland joint-coach
Because we are always playing the biggest game in Icelandic football history, I think the players have just got more used to it. As we have already got past the obstacles that have been put in front of us, I think the ones ahead get smaller.

I think a big part of why we are always playing better and better is that the players are more relaxed in every game and have grown in confidence. I will continue saying that we haven't seen Iceland's best game yet.

Halldórsson: France win would be like a 'Hollywood film' team reporters
David Crossan, France (@UEFAcomDavidC)
France are not taking Iceland lightly. While they are full of praise for the quality of Iceland's football, the key for Les Bleus will be being able to deal with the aerial bombardment from Aron Gunnarsson's long throws. Cope with that and France's superior technical ability should see them into the last four. Deschamps has proved expert at retrieving situations after sketchy starts this tournament.

Jóhann Sigurdsson, Iceland (@UEFAcomJohannS)
Whatever happens against France, Iceland will return home as heroes. But that doesn't mean they won't go for the win – they will. Their confidence has grown, especially after the victory against England, and they know that with another great performance they stand a chance against the hosts, who are burdened with the pressure of playing at home.

Watch Iceland stun England

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)

Did you know?
France booked their place at UEFA EURO 2000 with a 3-2 victory over Iceland at the Stade de France in October 1999. Substitute David Trezeguet hit the all-important winner for the eventual European champions shortly after coming on. Read more in our extensive match background.

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Last updated: 02/07/16 23.53CET