Monday 27th June. 8PM. ITV 1
After a long way, Roy Hodgson’s England will finally continue their Euro 2016 campaign on Monday night as they take on Iceland in Nice.
There’s no room for error in the fast and furious realm of knockout football, and England will be desperate to fire a warning to their rivals with a big win. However, little Iceland have shown ability to match their spirit, and they won’t go down without a fight.
It should be an intense and exciting battle. Let’s just hope England delvier.
England Must Turn Dominance Into Goals
England’s Group B campaign was ridiculous. On one hand, we’ve never seen them control three competitive tournament games with such ease. Sadly, though, that dominance transpired to just one win – and that came in injury time. Hodgson’s men need to start matching performances with results, and it has to start now.
The Three Lions have more than enough quality to make their possession in the final third count, especially with Kyle Walker and Danny Rose bombing forward from the full-back positions. Hodgson does face a headache, but reports suggest that Adam Lallana, Daniel Sturridge and Harry Kane will get the nod.
If that is to be the case, England need to penetrate with Dele Alli offering additional support from midfield. England will enjoy most of the possession. As long as the defensive outfit, including anchor man Eric Dier, perform, the Three Lions should be comfortable.
This isn’t a foregone conclusion, but England do hold all the aces. Come on!
Can Iceland Keep Cool In Heat Of The Moment?
The magnitude of Iceland’s achievement shouldn’t be underestimated for a second, and reaching the knockout phase is simply phenomenal for a country of their size. But it shouldn’t come as a surprise; they were unlucky not to reach World Cup 2014, and qualified for the Euros in style. Nonetheless, their performances in the group phase were simply brilliant.
Lars Lagerback has been quick to voice his unbeaten record against England, and his side’s defensive approach could frustrate England greatly. Iceland will have no problem surrendering possession, and will hope to catch the Three Lions on the break. With stars like Gylfi Sigurdsson amongst their arsenal, they’ll always pose a threat.
England’s defensive frailties could give Iceland a genuine chance of causing an upset here. If they do book their place in Sunday’s quarter-final, it would undoubtedly be the greatest sporting achievement in their history. The prize is there, and they aren’t in France just to make up the number.
Hodgson’s men should be prepared for a tough test. Nonetheless, England can be hopeful of ending the underdog’s dream.
England v Iceland Betting Tips
With the experience and quality on their side, England are overwhelming favourites at odds of 4/7 with Bet365 while Iceland are 15/2 outsiders. The draw can be backed at 11/4.
England should win this one, even though it will be a difficult test at times. However, getting that early breakthrough is vital.
The Three Lions are yet to score in the first half at Euro 2016, but they can change that against an inferior opponent. Getting their noses in front should settle the nerves, putting them en route to a routine win.
HT/FT: England/England @ 31/20 with Coral
If England are to seal their place in the last eight, then there’s a good chance that the skipper will have a telling role. Wayne Rooney was brilliant in the first two games before being rested and will be at the heart of everything.
Should he pull the strings as expected, England will have a great chance of winning . We’re backing him to be named Man of the Match.