Reading forward Jón Daði Böðvarsson has been named in Iceland’s 25-man squad for their upcoming double-header of fixtures against Albania and Turkey, as the island nation aim to reach their third consecutive major tournament at next year’s European Championships.
A succession of injuries meant that the Royals striker was only available intermittently in the second half of last season, but he is now fit enough to link up with Erik Hamrén’s squad for the forthcoming fixtures.
Iceland’s Group H qualifying fixtures began back in March, with mixed results. Minnow nation Andorra were defeated 2-0 on their home patch, but then France ran out 4-0 victors at the Stade de France in their next outing.
After kicking off their group games with two away games, now it’s back home for Böðvarsson and his compatriots. On Saturday 8th June they welcome Albania to Laugardalsvöllur, their national stadium, and then Turkey are their visitors on the evening of Tuesday 11th June. Moldova complete the six-nation pool.
The top two teams from each group qualify for the finals tournament – which takes place across a variety of European host cities in the summer of 2020 – and further sides will have a second chance to qualify via their UEFA Nations League performances.
France, the World Cup-holders, are the clear favourites in Group H – but the other nations, Iceland included, will believe that second-place is attainable.
We send the very best wishes to Jón Daði and his fellow Icelanders – including Royals Academy graduate Gylfi Sigurðsson – in their qualifying fixtures.