Marcus Braddock takes a look at this evenings England gameConsidering the teams we could have played in the next round, our second position in Group B has seen us paired with the lowest ranked team still in the competition. Iceland have shown themselves to be more than able to see off teams that are ranked above them. Like England, Iceland are unbeaten in the competition so far and qualified in second place with five points from a 2-1 win and two draws. The main difference between the two sides seems to be that whilst Iceland have surpassed expectation, England have yet to do so. We've found it difficult to fully break down opposition teams and that is something that will have to change if we are to progress. Iceland's tactic seems to be one that involves men behind the ball defending for large periods with the occasional foray into enemy territory. It seems to have worked for them and it's a style that has been like Kryptonite to our Supermen so far.
However, unlike a fair number of pundits I don’t think we've been poor. I think we've done quite well considering the age and experience of the majority of the squad. We've been quite dominant for large periods but as has been lamented by almost everyone, we've not converted that dominance into goals. That's not a bad position to be in, all we have to do is start to click up front and who knows what will happen.
Managed jointly by Lars Lagerbäck and Heimir Hallgrímsson, Iceland’s qualification for Euro 2016 is their first in either The European Championship or The World Cup and they've grabbed the opportunity with both hands. They qualified via group F by drawing with Portugal and Hungary and beating Austria which placed them second in the group and only goal difference separated them from first placed Hungary. Their four goals in the group stage were scored by four different players, Bödvarsson, Traustason, Bjarnason and Gylfi Sigurdsson so they have goalscoring ability around the team
The players that were missing in the starting line up against Slovakia will, for the most part, be back which isn't the selection I would have made but we have to trust the manager’s judgement, I just hope he has it right. It's not going to be an easy game, as I've said before; there are no easy games for such a young England team. The return of Wayne Rooney will put some much needed experience into the midfield and hopefully he'll either score or assist in a goal or two. Along with goals, I think we're going to need to be patient as we break down a committed and organised team put together by two very experienced coaches. However, I think we have enough to take this game by a couple of clear goals.
England 2-0 Iceland