While preparations might have been far from ideal for England, the Three Lions will get their Nations League campaign underway on Saturday evening when they make the trip to an empty Reykjavík.
Last seen romping their way through qualification for next year’s backdated European Championships with a 4-0 victory against Kosovo on foreign soil, the Whites have won their last three contests on the bounce since their shock defeat in the Czech Republic last year.
On the flip side, although Iceland might have managed to pick up back-to-back low-key 1-0 friendly victories against El Salvador and Canada back in January, the Blues failed to find an automatic route out of Group H during qualifying.
However, while the Nordic nation might open Saturday’s meeting as a landslide underdog with many across Europe, Iceland will still be dreaming of what was their historic last meeting against the Three Lions.
Knocking then boss-Roy Hodgson’s side out of EURO 2016 thanks to what was a famous 2-1 win in Nice, you might be interested to know that another stunning Iceland victory is priced as high as 14/1 with Coral for Saturday evening.
Iceland’s Nations League nightmare
While a pair of subdued 1-0 friendly victories against El Salvador and Canada might have helped the mood in Iceland’s camp after they failed to secure an automatic route to next year’s European Championships, Erik Hamrén’s men drastically struggled when featuring in the inaugural Nations League two years ago.
The real whipping boys in Group A last time around and last seen in this year’s tournament getting hit with a routine 2-0 defeat away at World Cup bronze medallists Belgium, the Blues lost all four of their appearances and were the only Group A nation who failed to finish with a single point to their name.
Opening their Nations League campaign last time out with what turned out to be a woeful 6-0 drumming at the hands of Switzerland on foreign soil, Iceland managed to record just a single strike in any of those four defeats and their attacking options could be stretched once again on Saturday evening.
You might be interested to know that this weekend’s hosts can be found priced at 8/13 with Paddy Power to draw another blank when they return to Nations League action in Reykjavík.
Kane to lead the Lions’ charge?
Signing off their EURO 2021 qualifying campaign with what turned out to be a 4-0 romp away at surprise package Kosovo, England managed to bounce back from their shock defeat in the Czech Republic and clinched top spot in Group A with a six-point buffer.
Securing a bronze medal finish in the inaugural Nations League last summer, Gareth Southgate’s superstars will be looking to go at least one step further this time around and they have a long list of attacking talents to call upon this weekend.
While their preparations might have been far from ideal for the Three Lions before they make the trip to Reykjavík on Saturday, it could be well worth keeping an eye out for Tottenham ace and skipper Harry Kane.
Despite having a campaign that has once again been riddled with injury issues, the 26-year-old found the net against Kosovo back in November and will once again lead the line this weekend.
Now recording five goals in just his last three international appearances, you might be interested to know that Kane is priced at 7/10 with Ladbrokes to extend on his tally in Iceland.