Preview and Prediction
The semifinalist of UEFA Nations League previous edition, England, is looking for better outcome for the current season. They are in a less challenging group 2 of League A with Belgium and two Scandinavian contenders, Denmark and Iceland. This weekend will be a start for Harry Kane and Co to seal three points while visiting Reykyavik. It might look easy to win on the paper but it never does when it comes to the mysterious Iceland who once beat them on the second round of Euro 2016.
Both teams’ latest news
Iceland under the former Sweden boss in Euro 2012, Erik Hamren surprisingly does not include their current star and playmaker, Everton’s Gyfli Sigurdsson and the experienced Albert Figbonasson. Although some other veterans are still named in the squad such as Birkir Bjarnasson and Emil Hallfredsson, Iceland is ready to prepare the younger names to be given more important roles in the team. The likes of CSKA Moscow’s 21-year old midfielder Arnor Sigurdsson, Midtylland’s Mikael Anderson, Bologna’s Andri Baldursson and AZ Alkmaar forward Albert Gudmundsson are likely to be the future faces of Strakarnir Okkar.
Meanwhile, The Three Lions are always attracting attention of the world. Gareth Southgate apparently chose not to include some key figures who are injured like Marcus Rashford and Jordan Henderson whereas Ben Chilwell is still negotiating the move for the upcoming season and the one who stumbled to unnecessary circumstance such as Harry Maguire. The new faces are brought instead to provide more option for the Euro 2020 next year. Those new bloods are Mason Greenwood, Phil Foden, Wolverhampton wingman Conor Coady, Jack Grealish, Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Leeds United man, Kalvin Phillips.
Erik Hamren might be opting for 4-4-2 formation with Albert Gudmudsson and Kolbienn Sigborsson as the main frontman. In the midfield, Birkir Bjarnasson will be in command supported by Arnor Ingvi Traustasson, Victor Palsson and possibly Arnor Sigurdsson.
His counterpart, Gareth Southgate is likely to employ more offensive formation, 4-3-3 with Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling as the front trio. In the midfield, Declan Rice, Mason Mount and Jack Grealish will be the anchor of their attack and defence.
Players to watch
AZ Alkmaar man Albert Gudmudsson is likely to be the main frontman. He has just registered 3 goals in 11 caps. Another notable name to watch is Darmstadt 98 midfielder Victor Palsson.
The captain Harry Kane will still be the main scorer. The top scorer of World Cup 2018 has notched up 32 goals in 45 appearances. Some other key figures to watch are surely Raheem Sterling, Trent-Alexander Arnold and the debutante Phil Foden.
Iceland vs England prediction
The memory of Euro 2016 defeat still lingers in some key men including the captain Harry Kane and Kyle Walker. The only way to wash away such pain would be sealing three points here to begin their campaign this season. The visiting side has the potential to do so. Thus, at least a narrow win should be plausible.
Southagate’s men are the clear favorite with a win market at 1.25. The draw result is at the value of 5.25, whereas Birkir Bjarnasson and Co are projected to win at 12.75.