By John Geddie
MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) – Iceland have a clean bill of health with captain and long-throw specialist Aron Gunnarsson returning to training on Friday ahead of their European Championship quarter-final against hosts France on Sunday.
Midfielder Gunnarsson — whose throw-ins have created two goals for Iceland including one in their win over England on Monday — sat out of Thursday’s training with a back problem.
“He (Gunnarsson) has a little bit of pain coming from his back…and according to the medical team, he shouldn’t do anything yesterday,” Iceland joint-coach Lars Lagerback told a news conference on Thursday.
“But he will train today, it is no problem, all 23 (players) are fit.”
Lagerback is prepared for a feisty encounter with France, and has been focusing his training on tactics rather than physical work to make sure all his players are fit.
“It was a rather a light training yesterday. We try to do some tactical work now, and we will do the same today – a little bit shorter, not too tough.”
While his team are injury free, one concern for the coach is the nine players are a booking away from a suspension ahead of the game against hosts France.
They are Kari Arnason, Birkir Bjarnason, Johann Gudmundsson, Aron Gunnarsson, Hannes Halldorsson, Birkir Saevarsson, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Ari Skulason. France have just two players a booking away from a ban, Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)