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Preview: England v Iceland

Roy Hodgson reiterated his faith in his forwards and the attacking options he has at his disposal ahead of England's last-16 tie against an Iceland team in a "win-win situation".

Daniel Sturridge after his winner against Wales
Daniel Sturridge after his winner against Wales ©Getty Images
  • Iceland meet England in the Nordic country's first major knockout game
  • This is the nations' first competitive encounter and third overall
  • Wayne Rooney scored twice as England beat Iceland 6-1 in a pre-EURO 2004 friendly
  • It is ten years since England won a knockout tie – 1-0 v Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup
  • The winners will play France in the quarter-finals on 3 July in Saint-Denis

Possible line-ups
 England: Hart; Walker, Smalling, Cahill, Rose; Dier, Rooney, Alli; Sturridge, Kane, Sterling.

Iceland: Halldórsson; Sævarsson, Árnason, Sigurdsson, Skúlason; Gudmundsson, Gunnarsson, Sigurdsson, Bjarnason; Bödvarsson, Sigthórsson.

Coach quotes
 Roy Hodgson, England manager
Tomorrow's result will be significant [for me], but most of all for the team and the country. We want to stay in the tournament, we're good enough, but we must get results and that starts tomorrow.

Gary Cahill: You need to beat the big guns to go far

I've been happy with the strikers I've gone with. You never know how someone is going to play, but you do know what you're selecting. You see them in training and you try to choose the best possible players for that game. I'm fortunate that if something isn't functioning as I would like, we have options on the bench.

The experience and wisdom of Lars Lagerbäck and Roland Andersson [part of the Iceland staff] and their ability to organise a team and get the maximum out of them, and to engender a work ethic, they owe a lot to that.

I don't know Iceland as well as the other Nordic countries, but the character of the Icelandic people and their determination and ability to survive hardships will have been a major factor in their progress.

We have to accept the title of favourites, and they will be the underdogs, but regardless it will be a difficult game and they will be hard to beat.

Lars Lagerbäck, Iceland joint coach
I would expect England to have more possession, but you never know. It's very hot. It may depend on the temperature how the match develops. We'll see if we can step up a bit when it comes to that part of the game.


We've practised penalties – some were good, some not so good. I've known Roy since 1976 and we met each other often in Sweden. We've been in contact now and then for many years, although not as much in recent times when we've been around the world.

The starting XI [from the Austria match] have had three days to reload physically and mentally. They are looking forward to the game and in the team meetings we've started to focus more and more on taking another step.

Heimir Hallgrimsson, Iceland joint coach
We have said it before: it's a win-win situation for us. The players have already won the hearts and minds of the Icelandic population. With a good performance tomorrow they will come out as winners. And if we beat England their lives will surely change. Icelandic football will be talked about more and people will think more highly of it.

Gylfi Sigurdsson excited about 'perfect' England tie

UEFA.com team reporters
 Simon Hart, England (@UEFAcomSimonH)
The hope is that England will be fresher for Hodgson's rotation of his squad for the Slovakia fixture. Whoever plays, the manager's wish will be for an early goal, which would force Iceland to come out and give his team more space to play. For this to happen, though, England must show more of a cutting edge than they have done in previous matches.

Johann Sigurdsson, Iceland (@UEFAcomJohannS)
Iceland will approach this game full of confidence and hungry for more success. They will need a superb display, and a bit of luck along the way, to stand a chance. Expect them to play as they have done throughout the finals – with a focus on a compact defence and trying to surprise on the counterattack. Whatever happens, this tournament will be remembered for a long time and they will return home as heroes.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)

Did you know?
Hodgson was midfielder Birkir Bjarnason's boss when he was in charge of Norwegian club Viking in 2005, though the teenager did not make a senior appearance during his tenure.

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