Round of 16 Betting Preview: England clear favourites against minnows IcelandPublished June 27, 2016
England must be kicking themselves that they let the group get away from them and came second to Wales. Although the game against Iceland doesn’t appear the most tricky on paper, they are in the side of the knock out draw with Spain, Italy, Germany and France.
Some have argued that Roy Hodgson’s policy of making six changes, including captain Wayne Rooney, cost them against Slovakia when they fought out a rather dour 0-0. Before that game they had beaten Wales 2-1, thanks to a last minute Daniel Sturridge goal and were unlucky to only draw with Russia in the group opener.
However, England have rarely looked like a team capable of winning the tournament and making your Euro 2016 Free Bets worthwhile. While, the last minute Russian equalizer aside, they have looked comfortable at the back, they have struggled to score. They were unable to break down Slovak and a Russian defense which the Welsh seemed to have few problems with, and had to leave it late against Wales when Hodgson threw on every striker he had on the bench.
First team wide men Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling did little to get behind their men and Dele Alli and Harry Kane appear to have brought their end of season Spurs form with them to France.
Iceland, with a population of 330,000, the same as the city of Leicester, are unbeaten in these championships and have impressed so far. They shocked Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo in particular by holding them to a 1-1 draw in their opening game. They drew with Hungary by the same score before pulling off a stoppage time winner over Austria to win second place in the group and confine Portugal to third, who most people thought would be England’s opponents.
Iceland play on the break and are far more clinical than England. The Three Lions have also completed twice as many passes as Iceland, 1,536 to 797, but have a far better ratio of 4.3 shots per goal to the 14.3 shots per goal of Hodgson’s team.