Gareth’s ghostbusters have nothing to fear in Iceland
England go ghost busting in Reykjavik on Saturday night – and the Three Lions shouldn't have anything to fear.
The last time Iceland faced England was at the Euro 2016 finals in Nice – when there was something weird, and it didn't look good.
But Gareth Southgate's Ghostbusters will have everything in their favour this time.
Iceland's star men Gylfi Sigurdsson and Johann Berg Gudmundsson have decided not to travel – Sigurdsson has a fight for his Everton future on his hands after the imminent arrival of three new midfielders at Goodison while injury hit Burnley star Gudmundsson said: "I decided it would be better for me to stay here and have a full pre-season, especially after I’ve had some (injury) problems."
Qatari club Al Arabi have blocked former Cardiff star Aron Gunnarsson from travelling, Augsburg’s Alfred Finnbogason also made himself unavailable and Copenhagen defensive lynchpin Ragnar Sigurdsson is injured.
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That's the heart of Erik Hamren's side ripped out – making thepools.com's odds of 1/4 on an England win understandable.
Iceland are a huge 12/1 to repeat that famous win in Nice, with the draw 9/2 .
England traditionally come flying out of the blocks with an average of more than three first half goals across their last five matches – but four of those fixtures were against Kosovo, Montenegro and Bulgaria. The exception was when Southgate's men faced sturdier opposition in the Czech Republic last October and were held 1-1 at half-time and eventually lost.
Iceland have conceded just four first half goals across their last 18 matches and draw half-time England full-time is 13/5 .
A second half goal glut can't be ruled out and Over 1.5 goals in the second half is 10/11 and Over 2.5 a huge 11/4 .
As for first scorer, Harry Kane has netted 32 goals in 45 appearances for England – 12 in 10 outings during 2019 – and is 11/5 to open the scoring and 4/6 to score at any time .
Midfielders like Harry Winks, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ross Barkley all scored early from midfield in England's last three outings and this time Mason Mount 17/2 , Phil Foden 7/1 and Declan Rice 20/1 are worth considering.
Draw half-time England full-time 13/5
Over 2.5 2nd half goals 11/4
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