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Preview: Portugal v Iceland

Fernando Santos warned that Iceland "are more than just physically strong" as he prepared a Cristiano Ronaldo-powered Portugal for their opening Group F game.

Iceland's team for first EURO match
Iceland's team for first EURO match
  • Portugal and Iceland commence Group F bids with their third meeting
  • Portuguese won both previous matches, in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying
  • Cristiano Ronaldo set to win his 127th cap, equalling Luís Figo's Portugal record
  • Icelanders are making their major tournament debut
  • Iceland is smallest nation to grace a major finals (population 330,000)


Possible line-ups

Portugal: Rui Patrício; Vieirinha, Bruno Alves, Pepe, Raphäel Guerreiro; João Mário, Danilo, João Moutinho, Adrien Silva; Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Out: none
Doubtful: Quaresma (hamstring)

Iceland: Halldorsson; Sævarsson, R Sigurdsson, Árnason, Skúlason; Gudmundsson, G Sigurdsson, Gunnarsson, Bjarnason; Sigthórsson, Finnbogason.
Out: none
Doubtful: none

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Coach quotes
Fernando Santos, Portugal coach

The players can't wait to get started. It goes without saying that we want to have a good EURO and, in order to achieve that, our aim is still the same. We go into every match to win.

[Iceland] are more than just physically strong. They are strong, tactically well organised, and they know exactly how to act in defence and in attack. They will do everything to break Portugal's will to win the match and they've got every right to do so.

Lars Lagerbäck, Iceland joint coach
Everyone knows Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world. It's about playing against the whole team but of course we will try to close him down.

Everything you need to know about Portugal in 30 seconds
Everything you need to know about Portugal in 30 seconds

Heimir Hallgrímsson, Iceland joint coach
Psychologically I would think they want to knock us out of our stride as soon as possible. It's no surprise they picked Norway and Estonia to play before the finals – both play similarly to us. They come into this game brimming with confidence. They are not a team that play only one way so it's difficult to play against them – in return, we can't play just one kind of defensive style against them. There is a lot to look out for but hopefully we have prepared well enough.

UEFA.com team reporters
Joseph Walker, Portugal (@UEFAcomJoeW)
So often the bridesmaids, Portugal will be looking for a first major tournament win at UEFA EURO 2016 and are full of confidence ahead of their opener against debutants Iceland. Captain Cristiano Ronaldo finished the season with UEFA Champions League glory and he may have to carry the goalscoring burden – however, with a midfield containing the likes of João Moutinho and João Mário, plus Nani and Ricardo Quaresma, there will be no shortage of opportunities.

An introduction to Iceland
An introduction to Iceland

Jóhann Sigurdsson, Iceland (@UEFAcomJohannS)
It's finally upon us. Iceland are about to play their first ever game at a major championship. The excitement has been building steadily in the team after a long wait. However, Iceland need to be at their defensive best to stand a chance against a strong Portugal side, who have been in top form recently. Lagerbäck and Hallgrímsson were consistent with their selection in qualifying, so don't expect many changes to the formula.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Portugal: WLWWLWLWWW
Iceland: WLWLLLWLLL

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Did you know?
Iceland and Portugal had never met until they were drawn together in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2012. Portugal won both matches, Ronaldo leading the way in a 3-1 victory in Reykjavik and Nani scoring twice in a 5-3 triumph in the Porto return. Find out more in our extensive match background.

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