Euro 2016: Preview Spain v Italy, England v Iceland

Day 17 sees the last games of the round of 16 before the quarter-final stages, as European giants Italy and Spain clash and England face surprise package Iceland.


Two of Europe’s big guns face off at the Stade de France at 5PM, as Italy and Spain go head-to-head in the biggest clash of the last-16 round.

As usual Italy produced resilient displays in their group games getting the better of Belgium and Sweden, before losing 1-0 against Republic of Ireland in their last group game, after boss Antonio Conte made a number of changes to his starting line-up.

The Azzurri have lost just one of their last 13 competitive games, which was that defeat against Ireland. Prior to the loss Italy’s last defeat in competitive action came in Brazil at the last World Cup against Uruguay.

Spain also won their first two group games and lost their last one. The difference is La Roja’s defeat against Croatia last time out meant that the European champions were drawn in the more difficult side of the draw.

Vicente del Bosque’s side’s confidence is unlikely to have been hit by a 2-1 defeat against Croatia last time out and they will take extra confidence from the fact that the Azzurri have not beaten them in the last five meetings.

Two of those meetings came at Euro 2016, one of which was a 4-0 final win for La Roja to seal a consecutive European Championship crown.

In the last game of the last-16 clashes, England face Iceland on Monday night in Nice for the chance to face hosts France in the quarter-finals next Sunday.

England were frustrated in the group stages by Russia and Slovakia in 1-1 and 0-0 draws respectively. A 2-1 win over Wales was sandwiched in-between those draws. Five points was not enough for the Three Lions to top the group and Wales nipped in to win the group.

England boss Roy Hodgson made a number of changes to his starting line-up last time out, which backfired, so the likes of Wayne Rooney and Dele Alli are likely to return to the starting line-up for this clash.

Iceland were very much the surprise package in the group stages picking up draws against Portugal and Hungary, before securing second place in Group F with a stoppage-time winner in a 2-1 defeat of Austria in their last group game.

The Nordic nation have proven tough opponents at Euro 2016 and are likely to defend deep and attempt to hit England on the counter-attack.

They are likely to prove similarly stubborn to those that the Three Lions have face in the group stages and England will need to be sharper in attack to make it to quarter-finals.