Euro 2016 last 16: England can book quarter-final spot with win over plucky Iceland
Lee Gormley | June 25, 2016
England v Iceland
- Euro 2016 last 16
- Monday, June 27th
- Kick-off: 20:00 BST
- Allianz Riviera, Nice
- Live on ITV
England face impressive Iceland side
After coming second in Euro 2016 Group B behind Wales, England looked set for a showdown with familiar foes Portugal but late drama in other clashes secured them a last 16 encounter with Iceland instead, a nation which they have never lost to previously.
Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions will be confident of earning progression towards a quarter-final spot on French soil, but must be wary of the threat posed by the Nordic nation, with Iceland having impressed on their way to finishing second in Group F ahead of Portugal and behind Hungary only on goal difference.
The two nations last collided back in 2004 when England prevailed with a comfortable 6-1 thrashing in an international friendly, with skipper Wayne Rooney being the only remaining player from the squad that day, and Hodgson’s current crop are 4/1 with Coral to triumph in normal time and both sides score.
Although, having held both Portugal and Hungary to draws and beaten Austria in their gallant group campaign, Iceland are 15/2 to cause an upset and emerge victorious in this last 16 encounter at the Allianz Riviera.
Sturridge set for further success?
England captain Rooney struck twice in that last win over Iceland more than a decade ago and will look to finally get off the mark this time out on French soil, with the Manchester United attacker 10/1 to repeat those heroics with another double or 15/8 to net anytime in 90 minutes.
Leicester City marksman Jamie Vardy recently put pen to paper on a new deal with the Premier League champions, resisting the temptation of a switch to Arsenal, and the Foxes frontman is 6/5 to find the target again against Iceland, after dispatching past Wales.
Liverpool ace Daniel Sturridge bagged the late winner in that Home Nations clash and the Anfield poacher is 9/2 to strike last this time around again, while Tottenham hitman Harry Kane enters at 9/2 to open proceedings and finally break his Euro 2016 duck.
Old Trafford starlet Marcus Rashford is 11/2 to score the game’s last goal, with midfielders Dele Alli (10/3 anytime), Adam Lallana (5/1) and Eric Dier (8/1) set to star again in this crucial last 16 encounter.
Sigurdsson a key threat to England
Iceland have been a truly defiant nation so far in their Euro campaign but they also have an eye for goal, proved by their dispatching of Austria last time out, thanks to strikes from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Arnor Ingvi Traustason.
Germany-based midfielder Bodvarsson is 7/2 to hit another goal within normal time here and Rapid Vienna attacker Traustason is 7/1 to add to his previous success, while veteran forward Eidur Gudjohnsen enters at 6/1 to dispatch.
FC Basel midfielder Birkir Bjarnason netted the equaliser in the eventual draw with Portugal and is 11/2 to add another this time out in 90 minutes, while star man and Swansea City playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson is 7/2 to strike following his successful penalty in the stalemate against Hungary.
England hope to avoid dreaded penalties
Bjarnason is involved in an intriguing sub-plot in this meeting, with England boss Hodgson having handed him his senior debut as a 17-year-old back in 2005 when both at Norwegian club Viking FK.
The Three Lions coach considered him as huge talent and, 11 years later, he struck his nation’s first ever major tournament goal after being pivotal to them qualifying. Bjarnason, now 27, will now hope to knock out the man who helped get the ball rolling on his career on Monday night.
With the knockout stage now having been reached, England will hope to avoid facing the dreaded penalty shoot-out and get the job done within normal time, but they are 6/1 to earn victory in extra-time and 16/1 to exit via spot-kicks yet again.
Iceland are 25/1 to earn a famous win in extra-time, though the Three Lions are 12/1 to secure a shoot-out triumph, as they look to book a place in the quarter-finals on French soil and continue their campaign.
What does Coral football ambassador Alan Shearer think ahead of England v Iceland? Here are his thoughts on this last 16 battle: