Portugal will begin their chase for the 2016 European Championship title on Tuesday at Stade Geoffroy Guichard in Saint-Etienne. The Portugal vs. Iceland tie will be the final game of Matchday 1 of Euro 2016 in France.
Portugal, who are the consensus favorites to top Group F based on numerous Euro 2016 predictions online, will once again rely on their deadly duo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani. Ronaldo was on target during the qualifying round with five goals in six appearances, while Nani netted a goal for Portugal.
Sporting CP midfielder Joao Mário is also expected to play a vital role for Portugal with his creativity, especially against Iceland, who will likely focus on the defensive end of the pitch, per ESPN. The 23-year-old only has 11 international caps but is expected to get exposure in Euro 2016.
Meanwhile, Iceland will rely heavily on Gylfi Sigurdsson, who played for Swansea in the English Premier League. The 26-year-old midfielder had six goals during the qualifying round.
Aron Gunnarsson, Kolbeinn Sigthórsson and Birkir Bjarnson will also play vital roles for Iceland, who are making their first appearance in the European Championship final. History will not be on their side on Tuesday, as they took 3-1 and 5-3 losses to Portugal in their only meetings in 2012, UEFA noted.
Portugal may not be the heavy favorites to win the title this year, but they have firepower to pull off a convincing victory in the tournament opener. Iceland will be on defensive mode on Tuesday, but the Ronaldo-led squad will likely run away with a 2-0 win on Tuesday.
Portugal are expected to start with Rui Patricio, Raphael Guerreiro, Bruno Alves, Pepe, Cédric, Mário, Danilo, William Carvalho, João Moutinho, Nani and Ronaldo.
Iceland will likely roll the dice with Ögmundur Kristinsson, Birkir Saevarsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Ari Skúlason, Elmar Bjarnason, Gunnarsson, Johann Gudmundsson, Bjarnason, Sigurdsson, Sigthórsson and Alfred Finnbogason.
The Portugal vs. Iceland match will start at 3 p.m. ET. Fans can catch the action on ESPN and ESPN3, and through online live stream via WatchESPN. More broadcast schedule and live stream information can be viewed on Live Soccer TV.
This article has been corrected, as Iceland was mentioned as Ireland throughout the article, but the players and records were accurate in the original version.