England VS Iceland Prediction
England and Iceland are the last 1/8 finalists which’ll close the Round of 16 stage at UEFA Euro 2016 and logically they’ll determine who’ll be the last quarter-finalist. In the occasion this means that winner from that match-up will face hosts France and this comes as a huge challenge for both teams, but they must focus on the upcoming clash at “Allianz Riviera” in a first place. And if “The Three Lions” are usually among the “usual suspects” for reaching the elimination phase, then Iceland can be more from delighted with their group stage performance where the Nordic country finished on second position in Group F due to their worse goal difference compared to Hungary. However, Iceland can boast with fact they’re still unbeaten and squad led by the coaching tandem Lars Lagerbäck and Heimir Hallgrímsson scored in all its Euro 2016 games so far. Perfect debut for Iceland and it can become even more remarkable if they somehow find a way to upset favorites from England.
England in the hours ahead their Euro 2016 fixture vs Iceland
England still lives with the disappointment of all unconvincing results in Group B of UEFA Euro 2016 and maybe except the second half against Wales, Roy Hodgson’s men were once again on the edge. Indeed, their group stage results have been marked by some surprising slips against Russia (1:1) and Slovakia (0:0), where only the victory over Wales can be accepted as a positive and this goes for the second half in particular. Half where Roy Hodgson used Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge, who replaced Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane on half-time, and they proved their gratefulness after scoring the crucial goals for England’s first and only win at Euro 2016 so far. However, all the positives derived from the win against Wales were deleted after the toothless performance against Slovakia, but we must highlight that Roy Hodgson made big number of rotations in that game. For example both backs were changed as Nathaniel Clyne and Ryan Bertrand had their chance, but from what we saw, we’re pretty sure that Kyle Walker and Danny Rose won’t lose their starting positions.
Jordan Henderson and Jack Wilshere started in midfield at the expense of Dele Alli and captain Wayne Rooney, while English attack was led by Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy, who obviously deserved starting position as a result of their efforts against Wales. Nevertheless, lack of goals and the lost position in Group B may cause another portion of changes in English attack and in midfield as well, where we expect Wayne Rooney and Dele Alli in the starting XI again. Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson may keep their position, especially if Adam Lallana fails to recover after damaging his ankle in training. This may open space for his teammate and Liverpool captain, who’ll form the trio in midfield next to Eric Dier and Wayne Rooney, who’s been used as midfielder, while Dele Alli can operate behind the strikers if Roy Hodgson starts with 4-3-1-2 formation here. This leaves one last question – who are the most reliable options of Roy Hodgson for breaking the solid Icelandic ice?
Expectations are that Jamie Vardy may lose his starting position and Harry Kane may return in the starting squad, while Daniel Sturridge should start again.
Iceland triggers England for the last 1/4 final place at Euro 2016
Iceland keeps some painful memories from the 1-6 defeat in the weeks before Euro 2004 but twelve years situation is completely different and the only thing in common is the month – June once again. However, this time Iceland will challenge England not just at European Championship finals, but at the knockout phase and Icelandic players can be inspired from their brilliant group stage results where they won five points after two draws and one win. Iceland would qualify for the Round of 16 even with three points (three draws) but the late goal scored by Arnór Ingvi Traustason will remain in Iceland’s football history as the goal that carried their first ever win at major football competition. It came after two draws against Portugal (1:1) and Hungary (1:1), when everything seemed as third consecutive 1:1, but Traustason’s goal came in the additional time of the game against Austria and it caused huge celebrations not only in France (where around 15% of the overall Icelandic population currently is), but in the whole country as well. Marvelous delirium for everyone in Iceland but now they must forget about the Group F fixtures and here comes the role of experienced Swedish coach Lars Lagerbäck, who meanwhile owns some experience in competitive games against England. Truly, Lagerbäck led Sweden against England at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Group F scuffle which has ended with an 1:1 draw, as well as in the World Cup four years later (in Germany) where Sweden won another point out from the 2:2 draw after late equalizer by Henrik Larsson.
Iceland was already too much for teams of Portugal, Hungary and Austria and this will undoubtedly increase their morale, something which will be very important when players step on the pitch in such an atmosphere, in such advanced stage of Euro 2016.
Any changes in Iceland’s lineup are unlikely to happen and this means that they’ll stick to the 4-4-2 formation with Jón Dadi Bödvarsson and Kolbeinn Sigþórsson on top, while Alfred Finnbogason served his suspension after being booked twice in the group phase, so this brings another attacking opportunity for Lars Lagerbäck and Heimir Hallgrímsson.
Euro 2016: England vs Iceland – possible squads and betting tip
Wayne Rooney was one of the English players who scored in Iceland’s net in the above mentioned 6-1 win at “City of Manchester Stadium” back in 2004, when Rooney netted two of the goals and this happened when he was only 18 years old. Twelve years later Rooney is already getting closer to 31 and his presence in the English national team has been marked with improvement of the goal scoring record – Rooney replaced Bobby Charlton only few months ago and he’s ready to become England’s most capped footballer as well. However, trophies are what’s missing in England’s showcase and Euro 2016 come with huge expectations towards new generation of English footballers, who should be led, influenced and motivated by the most experienced players in current English team like Joe Hart, Gary Cahill, Wayne Rooney.
Iceland can’t boast with international experience like England’s and as we already saw their main priority is to be stable in defense, while Iceland relies on fast flowing counter attacks. We don’t expect something different against England and surely all looks of the Icelandic football community will watch Swanse City’s attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, who’s the most reputable player of Iceland, at least for the English football fans.
Final conclusion and betting prediction
England are favorites but we will jump to a bit higher value and we found it in the suggested odds for “Over 2 Goals” between England and Iceland. Even if there are only two goals in the game your stake will be refunded.
Referee: Damir Skomina from Slovenia.
Assistant referees and fourth official: Jure Praprotnik, Robert Vukan (Slovenia) and Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain).
Venue: “Allianz Riviera”, Nice.
Possible starting squads of England and Iceland
England: Joe Hart – Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling, Danny Rose – Wayne Rooney (c), Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson – Dele Alli – Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge. (4-3-1-2)
Iceland: Hannes Halldórsson – Ari Skulason, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Kari Arnason, Birkir Saevarsson – Birkir Bjarnason, Aron Gunnarsson (c), Gylfi Sigurdsson, Johann Gudmundsson – Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson. (4-4-2)