Three teams have already booked their slot for Euro 2016 semifinals, while the fourth will be decided when France take on Iceland in the last quarterfinals of the competition on Sunday. France look favourite, but one cannot rule out an upset with Iceland enjoying a dream run in the competition so far.
Iceland have nothing to lose against France as they have exceeded expectations. Not only did Iceland top their group in the round robin stages, they stunned one of the Euro 2016 favourites, England in the round of 16. Iceland played some wonderful football in their last match, and they will be keen to deliver once again, against France.
France also come into this match with their heads held high after coming back from 0-1 down to defeat Republic of Ireland 2-1 in their last encounter. They also looked good in the group stages in front of their home fans.
France and Iceland will need to have their best starting XI to produce a positive result for their teams. Hence, the onus will be on the respective managers, Didier Deschamps (France) and Lars Lagerback (Iceland) to pick a team, which can help the team reach the semifinals.
Deschamps has some tough call to make as two key players midfielder N'golo Kante and defender Adil Rami have been both suspended for this Iceland game. Yohan Cabaye is expected to feature in midfield and Samuel Umtiti in central defence for the two suspended players.
This could be one of the biggest game for the uncapped defender, who will need to be on top of his toes against Iceland. But, Cabaye's starting XI role will depend on Deschamps' formation, and the Newcastle United player is a certainty if the manager goes for 4-3-3 formation. In other formations, Kingsley Coman or Moussa Sissoko will have a chance to feature in the starting XI.
France will need all their players to fire in the quarterfinal, but Olivier Giroud, Dimitri Payet, and Antoine Griezmann are going to play an important role offensively. It is not going to be any easy for the French players to score goals past the Iceland defence, which looked strong against England.
Though France might be forced to make some changes, Iceland are not going to make any changes in their team. They have played with the same XI for their last four matches, and one does not see any reason to chance that winning combination.
Iceland, unlike France, does not have any world-class stars, though, Gylfi Sigurdsson is one of the most well-known players in their camp. The Swansea midfielder is a huge threat going forward, and has it in him to proving a telling pass, and set up goals via his dangerous free-kicks as well.
Though Sigurdsson is their key player, Iceland does not depend on him alone, but on all their eleven players, which makes them a formidable unit. One of the best things about Iceland have been their never-give-up attitude, and it is such strong character of their players, which has helped them impress in Euro 2016.
Iceland players will be keen to put another good performance, but will it be enough to defeat hosts France?
Confirmed playing XI: France: Lloris; Sagna, Koscielny, Umtiti, Evra; Pogba, Matuidi; Sissoko, Griezmann, Payet; Giroud.
Iceland: Halldorsson; Saevarsson, Amason, R Sigurdsson, Skulason; Gudmundsson, Gunnarsson, G Sigurdsson, B Bjarnason; Sigthorsson, Bodvarsson.