The Strawberries and Cream season may be upon us but before settling down and being able to enjoy the tennis, English fans will have to sit through a last 16 encounter against European Championship minnows Iceland, knowing that a defeat would make the England national team, the laughing stock of the world.
On paper this should be a formality for Roy Hodgson’s men and the Oulala statistics below would appear to back up this theory but in a season in which 5000/1 outsiders Leicester City claimed the English Premier League trophy, nothing should be taken for granted.
England are expected to dominate the game with their possession stats and attempts on goal vastly superior. In an earlier article we pinpointed how Eric Dier had taken on the shooting mantle for the national side and the Spurs midfielder is also spearheading England’s passing statistics, having completed more passes than any other player, which certainly adds to his fantasy appeal with England expected to record a possession figure of around the 63% mark in this one.
Dier is not box-office material, though, unlike his team-mate Dele Alli who came into the tournament hyped to the hilt. The Tottenham schemer has so far failed to hit the heady heights expected of him and if anything has been out-performed by Iceland’s star man and former Tottenham player Gylfi Sigurðsson.
Swansea City’s attacking midfielder is again likely to be Iceland’s key threat but this could be the moment for Alli to announce his arrival on the international stage. A quarter-final tie against hosts France awaits the winner and the Spurs man is not short of confidence either. If he can produce a match-winning performance here, it might just put him spot on for that crunch clash against Les Bleus!
Will Dele Alli fire England into the quarter-finals or will the unthinkable happen?