Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
Gareth Southgate’s exciting young Three Lions team start their 2020/21 UEFA Nations League campaign against a familiar foe in the shape of Iceland in the land of fire and ice on Saturday, hoping to exact some revenge for their humiliating defeat they suffered against the Strákarnir okkar in 2016.
Four years ago, in Nice, at the Last 16 stage of the European Championship, a fancied England team were beaten 2-1 by a determined Iceland outfit in an embarrassing tournament exit that sparked some deep English introspection.
However, fast-forward four years and the landscape looks far more favourable for Southgate and England, and with a superb Euro qualification campaign behind them and a raft of new blossoming superstars in the Three Lions ranks, a positive result is anticipated against Iceland on Saturday.
Ahead of the action at the Laugardalsvöllur in Reykjavík, we’ve put together this five-part #OddsOnThat selection for the game that comes in at 22/1!
Remember – you can find a more detailed analysis of the match complete with our expert’s verdict and betting tips in our Iceland vs England predictions.
What is Betfair’s #OddsOnThat?
Betfair’s #OddsOnThat feature allows you create a customised multiples bet based on your own unique picks ahead of a particular football match.
You can choose from a huge variety of markets and once you have decided on your selection, you can request a price for your acca from Betfair on Twitter using the #OddsOnThat hashtag.
Want to add FST’s 22/1 selection straight to your betslip? Check it out below:
FST’s Iceland vs England #OOT
England to win
England proved an irresistible attacking force in their goal-laden European Championship qualification campaign last year, rattling home a remarkable 37 goals in eight games during their surge to top spot in Group A.
Iceland meanwhile, finished outside of the top two in their section behind France and Turkey, and with quite a few notable absentees from their squad for Saturday’s game, they look extra vulnerable this weekend.
Talisman Gylfi Sigurðsson, Burnley schemer Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson and Augsburg goal-getter Alfreð Finnbogason will all sit out Iceland’s high-profile tussle with England, and that should open the door for a Three Lions team packed to bursting with firepower to rampage their way to three points.
Both teams to score
While England’s rapidly improving attacking output makes them a hugely dangerous prospect in the final third, their record of keeping just five clean sheets in their last 13 away assignments suggests a consolation effort could be on offer for the hosts.
Iceland are modest goalscorers, though Erik Hamrén’s men did manage to make an impact on the scoresheet in 11 of their last 15 international matches, and England’s habit for over committing in attack should ensure that chances open up for the home team.
England, who averaged an eye-watering 4.625 goals per 90 minutes during their Euros qualification run last year, should prove next to impossible to keep out in Reykjavík however, making the both teams to score market an attractive inclusion.
Jadon Sancho to score anytime
In terms of the anytime goalscoring market, Borussia Dortmund starlet Jadon Sancho looks a prime candidate to register. With Marcus Rashford absent through injury, Sancho is all but guaranteed a spot in the starting line-up, and the in-demand winger has momentum to burn after a sensational season of club football.
Sancho scored 17 league goals and laid on 16 assists in 32 appearances for Dortmund in 2019/20 and with suitors Manchester United watching on, the 20-year-old promises be a real threat from right flank.
Victor Pálsson carded
Versatile defender Victor Pálsson is in for a busy evening in Reykjavík on Saturday against England’s rapid frontline, and the right back’s attempts to stem the flow of Three Lions counter attacks could land him in trouble with referees.
The 29-year-old was booked twice in his las three appearances for his country, and Pálsson was carded six times in the German second tier with his club Darmstadt last term.
Deployed as a full-back in Erik Hamrén’s Iceland system, Pálsson will be operating in the same spaces that Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling like to exploit, while Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Mason Greenwood could also emerge as serious second half threats if kept in reserve.
With so many technically gifted opponents to deal with, we think there is every chance an over-worked Pálsson could end up in the referee’s notebook.
Goals scored in both halves
England’s attacking prowess was on display right throughout their qualification fixtures last year, and the Three Lions saw goals scored in both halves of 100% of the group games they contested in 2019.
Southgate’s free-scoring side managed to register in both halves themselves in seven of those eight group qualifiers, with a strike from Zdenek Ondrášek in England’s solitary defeat to the Czech Republic in the second 45 on match day five completing the set.
England made a habit of coming out of the blocks quickly in their games last year, notching 12 goals before the half hour mark in their eight section skirmishes, and with their penchant for a fast start well established alongside their overall attacking muscle, goals in either half should be expected again on Saturday.
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