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EURO facts – France
• France are unbeaten in their last four competitive games in Marseille (W3 D1). This is their first competitive match in the city since a 3-0 victory against South Africa in the 1998 FIFA World Cup group stage.
• Marseille was also the venue for the 3-2 triumph over Portugal that took France to the final of the 1984 UEFA European Championship.[VIDEO src=”2354911″ size=”smallLandscape” align=”Right” caption=” France overcome Portugal at UEFA EURO 2000″ ]
• Their overall record in 13 games in the city is W6 D3 L4 (W3 D1 L1 in competitive games).
• France are one of only three nations to have won a EURO as final tournament hosts, along with Spain (1964) and Italy (1968).
On the front page of the Morgunblaðið sports section there is a piece by the editor, with the headline: “We don’t want it to end. On Sunday Iceland will be one of five teams who could become European Champions.” One interesting nugget from the article: “This fairytale in France has taken a totally different direction than most people expected. I probably speak for most Icelanders when I say that I hoped for a good performance in France, first and foremost, and the dream would have been to see them get one win and with that go to the last sixteen,” writes Vidir Sigurdsson. “Of course I had booked a flight the day after the game against Austria in Paris.”
Hosts France have never lost to Iceland in the countries’ 11 previous meetings, but will know only too well the high cost of underestimating UEFA EURO 2016’s surprise package.
France continue their quest to win the UEFA European Championship on home soil for the second time against UEFA EURO 2016’s surprise package Iceland.
While the hosts are in the quarter-finals for the fifth time in the last six editions of the competition, Iceland had never previously qualified – yet are unbeaten in their four matches at the tournament.
• France are unbeaten in the side’s 11 previous contests, recording eight wins and three draws – with 30 goals scored and eight conceded.
• The most recent meeting was a friendly in Valenciennes on 27 May 2012, when Iceland took a 2-0 half-time lead thanks to goals from Birkir Bjarnason (27) and Kolbeinn Sigthórsson (34). However, Laurent Blanc’s France mounted a sterling comeback and snatched a late victory with second-half strikes from Mathieu Debuchy (52), Franck Ribéry (84) and Adil Rami (87).
• The sides at the Stade du Hainaut were:
France: Mandanda, Debuchy, Rami, Mexès, Evra, Cabaye (A Diarra 58), Gourcuff (Valbuena 75), Nasri (Malouda 60), Ben Arfa (Giroud 58), Ménez (Ribéry 75), Benzema (Martin 60).
Iceland: Halldórsson, Jónasson, Jónsson (Daníelsson 66), Valgardsson (Skúlason 58), R Sigurdsson, Bjarnason, Gunnarsson, Árnason, G Sigurdsson, Gíslason (Gudmundsson (76), Sigthórsson (Hédinsson 46).
• France also booked their place at UEFA EURO 2000 with a 3-2 win against 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.
• Iceland have lost all six of their away games in France, scoring five goals and conceding 22.
EURO facts: France
• Group A winners France are unbeaten in eight games (W7 D1), their 0-0 draw against Switzerland in the group stage having ended a six-match winning streak dating back to a 2-0 friendly loss to England on 17 November 2015.
• This will be France’s 80th game at the Stade de France; the previous 79 ended W49 D20 L10. Their record in major final tournament games at the venue is W4 D1, that lone draw a 0-0 against Italy at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, a tie Les Bleus won on penalties.
• The last-16 win against the Republic of Ireland at Stade de Lyon was France’s first EURO knockout success since lifting the trophy in 2000. Les Bleus lost to the eventual winners in the quarter-finals in both 2004 (Greece) and 2012 (Spain).
• France (1984) are one of three nations to have won a EURO as hosts, along with Spain (1964) and Italy (1968).
EURO facts: Iceland
• This is Iceland’s first time at a major championship. They are one of two countries to have made their major finals debut at UEFA EURO 2016, along with Albania.
• Iceland are unbeaten in their four games at UEFA EURO 2016 (W2 D2), one of five teams to have reached the last eight without losing.
• With a population of 330,000, Iceland is the smallest nation to have appeared at any big final tournament.
• Icelandic clubs have played five matches in France in UEFA competition, losing all five by an aggregate score of 17-2.
• Iceland’s only previous appearance at the Stade de France came in their 3-2 defeat during UEFA EURO 2000 qualifying.
Coach and player links
• Gylfi Sigurdsson was a team-mate of Hugo Lloris at Tottenham Hotspur FC between 2012 and 2014.
• Kolbeinn Sigthórsson has been at FC Nantes since the summer of 2015.
• Eidur Gudjohnsen had a spell at AS Monaco FC in 2009/10.
• France’s record in six competitive penalty shoot-outs is W3 L3:
4-5 v West Germany, 1982 FIFA World Cup semi-finals
4-3 v Brazil, 1986 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals
5-4 v Netherlands, EURO ’96 quarter-finals
5-6 v Czech Republic, EURO ’96 semi-finals
4-3 v Italy, 1998 FIFA World Cup quarter-finals
3-5 v Italy, 2006 FIFA World Cup final
• Iceland have never been involved in a penalty shoot-out.