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Martin Keown’s big match analysis Euro 2016: England vs Iceland and Italy vs Spain

Euro 2016’s underwhelming group-stage is over and we’re well underway with the knockout ties, which have so far proved a little more lively.

Here, Sportsmail’s expert and Arsenal legend MARTIN KEOWN gives his take on the key stats and facts ahead of England vs Iceland and Italy vs Spain.

(Left to right:) Jack Wilshere, Wayne Rooney and James Millner arrive ahead of an England training session  (Left to right:) Jack Wilshere, Wayne Rooney and James Millner arrive ahead of an England training session 

(Left to right:) Jack Wilshere, Wayne Rooney and James Millner arrive ahead of an England training session 

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It’s up to Roy Hodgson to nail his team selection now we’re in the knockout rounds, and one thing he needs to do is to leave Wayne Rooney to get on with it in midfield — don’t be tempted to take him off again! 

Since the Slovakia game, I hope that every training session has involved our attack trying to penetrate a wall of defenders on the edge of the box. 

They need to learn to create space not congestion. Ordinarily we’d be proud of our possession stats and build-up play in this tournament but we have to convert this possession into goals. 

Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson is under pressure to get his selection right against Iceland Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson is under pressure to get his selection right against Iceland

Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson is under pressure to get his selection right against Iceland

England (4-1-2-3): Hart; Walker, Cahill, Smalling, Rose; Dier; Alli, Rooney; Sterling, Kane, Sturridge.

Iceland (4-4-2): Halldorsson; Saevarsson, Arnason, R Sigurdsson, Skulason; J Gudmundsson, Gunnarsson, G Sigurdsson, B Bjarnason; Bodvarsson, Sigthorsson.

Verdict: England win 1-0.

Brian Lee’s big-match bet: Wayne Rooney to score in an England win is 7-2.

 

Italy v Spain 5pm Stade de France, LIVE on BBC1 

A repeat of the 2012 final might have come too soon for the teams but it will really announce that the tournament is getting serious. 

The Italians have fine-tuned their system beautifully and I like seeing them playing with two strikers. 

Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique face a big test looking after Graziano Pelle and Eder instead of one lone centre forward. 

Spain captain Sergio Ramos (right) shares a joke with goalkeeper Iker Casillas ahead of the Italy game  Spain captain Sergio Ramos (right) shares a joke with goalkeeper Iker Casillas ahead of the Italy game 

Spain captain Sergio Ramos (right) shares a joke with goalkeeper Iker Casillas ahead of the Italy game 

Italy boss Antonio Conte made eight changes for the Ireland game so I expect them to be fresher, which could prove pivotal as they’re certain to be chasing the ball a fair bit. 

Italy (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Florenzi, Parolo, De Rossi, Giaccherini, Candreva; Eder, Pelle.

Spain (4-3-3): De Gea; Juanfran, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Fabregas, Busquets, Iniesta; Silva, Morata, Nolito. 

Verdict: Italy win on penalties (1-1 aet).

Brian Lee’s big-match bet: This could go all the way and you can get 4-1 on a penalty shootout.

RELATED ARTICLES

Previous 1 Next Euro 2016 Diary: Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini wary of… Euro 2016 Diary: Albania rewarded with open-top bus and… Euro 2016 Diary: Iceland pull off their own escape to… Euro 2016 Diary: Dimitri Payet can’t help scoring…

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