Friday, November 27, 2020

England 4-0 Iceland: Three Things We Learned

Harry Kettle in Editorial, European Championships 19 Nov 2020

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England and Iceland brought their respective UEFA Nations League campaigns to an end on Wednesday night as the Three Lions ran out 4-0 winners at Wembley.

It was the definition of a dead rubber with neither side really being able to benefit from a good result, but even with that being the case, we did learn a few things about both teams as we look ahead to UEFA Euro 2021 next summer.

Foden shines

There are many strong attacking stars within England’s setup right now, but aside from Jack Grealish, few were to make as strong of an impression as Phil Foden last night. The Manchester City star once again proved why he’s so highly thought of by both Gareth Southgate and Pep Guardiola, putting Iceland to the sword with relative ease. He may not be the first name on the team sheet for the Euros next year, but you can bet that there’s a strong chance he’ll be featuring fairly heavily.

Iceland’s decline continues

Despite some of the losses they had sustained in recent years, Iceland were still heading into this international break with the hope that they could progress to UEFA Euro 2021. Unfortunately for them they fell at the final hurdle thanks to a dramatic late comeback from Hungary in their play-off final, and now, it really does seem as if they’re going to drop like a stone. They’ve still got some really talented players within their ranks but that underdog belief, especially without the fans in attendance, is fading fast.

Hope for England?

England are currently priced at 6/1 with 888sport to win the Euros next year, which makes them the joint second favourites alongside France to lift the trophy – with only Belgium ahead of them. That may appear very generous to even the most optimistic of England fans thanks to the negative playing style we’ve seen from Southgate in the last few games, but last night’s performance showcased what they’re capable of when the pressure is off. They need to recapture that unity and desire, because if they do, football may end up coming home after all in 2021.

Match Report

England: Pickford (7), Maguire (8.5), Dier (7.5), Walker (6.5), Saka (7.5), Mount (7.5), Rice (8), Trippier (7), Grealish (7.5), Foden (9.5), Kane (7), Sancho (7), Abraham (6.5), Maitland-Niles (6), Winks (7), Mings (6.5)

Iceland: Kristinsson (6.5), Saevarsson (4), Ingason (6), Arnason (6), Hermannsson (6), Skulason (5.5), Palsson (6), Bjarnason (6), Sigurjonsson (5.5), Gudmundsson (6.5), Bodvarsson (6), Johannesson (6), Thorsteinsson (6), Sigthorsson (6), Eyjolfsson (6), Halldorsson (6.5)

Goals: Rice, Mount, Foden x2

Referee: Fábio Veríssimo

Yellow Cards: Walker, Saevarsson x2, Ingason, Arnason

Red Cards: Saevarsson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harry Kettle


Harry is a University of Worcester graduate who has been writing professionally for the last two years. He specialises in several sports such as MMA, pro wrestling and athletics, with football being his primary love. He continues to dream of a life in the Premier League as a Wolves fan.

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