Iceland take on the visitors Luxembourg in the round 7 match of group stage of UEFA Euro-2024 qualification. The match will be played on Friday, October 13th at Laugardalsvöllur (Reykjavík).
Five to seven years ago, Iceland would have been an obvious favorite in this match, and you could confidently bet on them with a negative handicap. However, the Golden era of the Vikings is long gone, and now the Scandinavians do not significantly outclass Luxembourg in terms of national teams. If at all. At the moment, in the Euro qualifying cycle table, Iceland is below their opponent in their group, with four points less in their account. In six matches, they have only managed to secure two wins. One of them was against the outsider Liechtenstein, and the other was a minimal 0-1 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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Luxembourg, on the other hand, has significantly improved and continues to do so over the years. In the current Euro qualifying cycle, the national team is seriously competing for the second-place spot in their group. They did concede a bunch of goals to Portugal, but in four other matches, the Red Lions have yet to taste defeat. They defeated Liechtenstein 2-0, won away against Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-0, took points away from Slovakia in a 0-0 draw, a team that Iceland lost to at home. In the first match against Iceland, Luxembourg earned three points with a deserved 3-1 victory.
In terms of shots, Luxembourg outshot their opponent 20-15, and in terms of shots on target, they led 7-4. The Red Lions combined and attacked more effectively. As a result, they won 3-1. It wasn't just luck; Iceland had an xG of only 0.61 in that game, while their opponent had 2.09. Of course, Iceland will have the support of their home crowd this time. Still, even with that, there's not much confidence in the hosts winning. If Iceland does win, it's unlikely to be by a margin of two or more goals. My prediction is a handicap (+1) in favor of the visitors. For those looking for higher odds, I recommend taking a risk and going for the double chance X2.
Prediction for the match: Luxembourg to win with +1.0 handicap.