With the 2014 FIFA World Cup coming to a fitting end, Euro 2016 is already round the corner with the qualifiers beginning a couple of months later.France 2016 will be the first European Championship which will feature 24 teams, having been expanded from the previous 16 team format. The expansion of the format gives a chance to the middle of the road nations a chance to qualify, some of them even for the first time. Since its inception since 1960, every European Championship has seen a debutant. With the expansion,many teams can fancy their chances to appear for their maiden European Championship.Here are 5 nations who are likely to make their debut at the European Championship:
#5 Iceland: FIFA Rank 47
Iceland beat relatively tougher opponents, Norway and Slovenia, and held Switzerland to a 4-4 draw to surprisingly finish second in their group behind Switzerland, and then went on to qualify for the playoffs where they were beaten by Croatia. Icelands positive results in 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign has, however, boosted the teams morale, and they might just be the surprise packing during the Euro 2016 qualifying rounds.
Iceland are in Group A of Euro 2016 qualifying which also consists of former champions Netherlands, Czech Republic, Turkey, Latvia and Kazakhstan. Netherlands and Czech Republic are favoured to take the 2 automatic qualifying spots which leaves Iceland, Turkey, Latvia and Kazakhstan to battle it out for 3rdspot.
Turkey and Latvia both both struggled throughout the 2014 World Cup qualifiers while Kazakhstan only adds up to the weight of the group. Iceland would be looking to take a step ahead to qualify for their major tournament with their hopes of qualifying mainly depending on captain Aron Gunnarsson , striker Kolbeinn Sigporsson, midfielders Birkir Bjarnasson and Gylfi Sigurdsson.Defenders Kari Arnason and Ragnar Sigurdsson, and goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson had alsoimpressed during the 2014 World Cup qualifiers