Robbie Fowler gives his verdict on England v Iceland and Spain v Italy on Monday.
My instincts are that Roy will revert back to one up top, which is likely to be Harry Kane. I think the manager is still of the opinion that the team that started against Russia in the opening game remains his first choice starting eleven.
I’m not with him on this, I would prefer us to start with two attackers who, on form, would have to be Sturridge and Vardy. Kane has lacked his usual spark so far, his movement has been poor and that aspect of his game needs to improve if we are going to do well in this competition.
We have struggled to break teams down so far and I don’t buy into this theory that we are going to improve when we play better teams in the knockout stages that are likely to open up more against us. It’s down to the manager to set us up to break teams down, whoever we face, and Roy has to take responsibility for this.
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So it looks like we’ll revert back to the side that started against Russia and Wales, and although it’s not the side I would go with, I still expect us to get the job done. Don’t get me wrong, Iceland have made it tough for teams to break them down so far and they will do so again against us, but we are a much stronger side and I expect us to break them down eventually.
With that in mind, my best bet for this game is draw/England in the half-time/full-time market, at best odds 3/1.
The other game on Monday is a heavyweight clash between Spain and Italy in the Stade de France. I’ve been with Italy from the outset and I can see them really frustrating the current European champions. Make no mistake, Italy would be the last side that Spain would have chosen to play at this stage of the competition.
Expect the Spanish to dominate possession but they will not find it easy to break down this dogged Italian rear guard. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see this game finish 0-0 in 90 minutes but the better bet is for Italy to frustrate the life out of the Spanish before holding their nerve in either extra time or penalties. Italy to qualify at best odds 17/10 is my idea of a winning bet here.
All the best,