England v Iceland: Bank on minnows frustrating Three Lions

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The last-minute drama that concluded Group F may have given England and easier round-of-16 opponent at Euro 2016 at first glance, but that is certainly not the case.

Iceland may sit some 23 spots lower than the Three Lions on Fifa’s infamous ranking system, but proved to be stubborn opponents in each of their group matches in France before scoring the last-kick goal that booked their progression.

Yet to be defeated and having scored more goals than England during the first phase of the tournament, Iceland pose a threat completely different to that of Portugal, who would have faced Roy Hodgson’s side had it not been for that late intervention.

A detailed look at how Lars Lagerback’s side have played so far during the tournament can be found here. In short they look to sit back, defend well and break with precision.

Considering Wayne Rooney and his band of attacking brothers have found breaking those kind of teams down particularly tough at the tournament, our 15/2 about an Icelandic win looks appealing.

In addition, the 8/11 about England scoring less than 1.5 goals is an equally smart play. The Three Lions have only surpassed that tally once in the past four outings and even that came via a 90th-minute winner against Wales.

Conversely, Iceland haven’t shipped more than one in a match in four straight games and are yet to do so at this tournament.

We go 4/9 that the game contains less than 2.5 total goals, which is another price worth considering on the basis of Iceland’s solid backline.

In other markets, it’s 5/1 that the game goes to a penalty shootout and 13/2 that both Vardy and Sturridge – two widely reported starters – score in the 90 minutes.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.