Iceland v England: Nations League – live!

Iceland v England: Nations League – live!

05-Sep-2020 15:40:03 | Guardian

Gareth Southgate’s pre-match thoughts

“I’ve said to go out and show what they can do - they’ve waited long enough to go and play, and they’re eager to play. There’s a stubborn opponent in front of us so we have to be patient and counter the threats that they have. But as much as anything I want them to enjoy their football and show people what they’ve been missing.

Pre-match reading

Related: Gareth Southgate relishes England's blend of youthful joy and senior nous

Related: What happened to Iceland's heroes who stunned England at Euro 2016?

Manchester City’s Phil Foden, 20, makes his England debut in a midfield that also includes James Ward-Prowse. It looks like Kieran Trippier is playing at left-back, with either Eric Dier or Declan Rice in the centre of the defence.

Iceland (4-4-2) Halldorsson; Hermansson, Ingason, Arnason, H Magnusson; Traustason, B Bjarnason, Palsson, Porsteinsson; Sigthorsson, Bodvarsson.
Substitutes: Kristinsson, Runarsson, Fjoluson, Eyjolfsson, Friojonsson, A Sigurdsson, Gudmundsson, Anderson, Fridjonsson, Baldursson, Hallfredsson, Skulason.

Hello. Forget all this talk of England seeking revenge against Iceland tonight. They should arrive at Laugardalsvöllur in Reykjavik offering thanks, because that humiliating defeat at Euro 2016 was the catalyst for the rebirth of a national team that had been drifting aimlessly for a decade or more.

We’ll never know where England would be had they beaten Iceland and lost acceptably to France in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016. But I doubt they would have reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, and I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be the favourites – the favourites! – to win Euro 2021.

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