Can England Unblock The Iceland Defence
Iceland are probably England`s worst nightmare as a last 16 opponent. This tournament has seen them struggle in all 3 group games to unblock their highly defensive opponents, and Iceland will certainly be no different. They will come with a game-plan to smother England with every man behind the ball and hope to launch the odd counter attack, so it will be up to England to somehow find a way through.
Although England have not lost a game yet and had the large majority of possession in each match they have not been convincing in the final third and this is where they must improve.
What is very encouraging is that they have looked very comfortable on the ball and as technically proficient as any team at Euro 2016, and this could augur well for if and when they play the stronger nations such as France and Germany.
Hodgson has many decisions to make for tonights game. Does he bring back Harry Kane and leave out Jamie Vardy (bearing in mind there will be very little room to run in behind the Icelandic defence), does he try Raheem Sterling again and does Sturridge play? And does he keep Rooney in the deep lying role he has deployed him in so far?
I would like to see Kane and Sturridge given the green light this evening upfront, with Dier and Rooney in the deep lying roles again, and Lallana and Alli further forward. If things are not going to plan I would think about bringing Vardy on in a more wide role with a licence to run inside.
And Wilshere is always an option off the bench although it has to be admitted he looked a long way off the pace against Slovakia.
The back four should go back to being Kyle Walker and Danny Rose as the roving full backs and Cahill and Smalling at centre half with Joe Hart as the keeper.
As for the others Wales have done remarkably well to reach the quarter finals and must feel like they have a chance against a very good but not unbeatable Belgium side. Northern Ireland will be delighted they got as far as the knock out stages, and Ireland gave France a really good game and fought right to the end.
Yesterday Germany moved ominously through the gears and are certainly my favourites to win the competition but it is all to play for and England could still find themselves right in the mix at the business end of the tournment.