Euro 2016 Day 16: Italy face Spain in repeat of Euro 2012 final, England aim to end Iceland dream

It is the final two games of the last 16 as Iceland look to continue their dream run with an upset over England, while Italy aim for revenge on holders Spain in a repeat of the Euro 2012 final.

Italy v Spain
1700 ~ Stade de France, Saint-Denis

Italy suffered a 4-0 defeat in the final to Spain four years ago and manager Antonio Conte is happy to let Spain have the favourites tag and put the pressure all on the holders as Italy look to reach the quarter-finals.

Sergio Ramos missed a penalty in Spain's 2-1 loss to Croatia image: skysports.com

Sergio Ramos missed a penalty in Spain’s 2-1 loss to Croatia
image: skysports.com

“It is up to Spain to prove they are better than us,” said the future Chelsea boss.

“Everybody talks about defence, about being wary of all their players, but I say let’s make sure Spain are wary of what we do. There is organisation in our defence, but there is also organisation in our attack. We’ve got to try to pull off a shock.”

Holders Spain suffered a 2-1 defeat to Croatia as they had to settle for second in their group but head coach Vicente del Bosque is confident his side can bounce back and pick up another victory over the Italians.

“I think we’ve got a good idea about how we want to play and now it’s about putting it into practice,” said the 65-year-old.

In the last European Championship, our first game was against Italy. They were better than us, but we drew and then we ended up beating none other than Italy in the final. We hardly changed anything in between those two matches but they can make changes at any given moment.

Team News

Italy are expected to name ten of the players who defeated Belgium in their opening game in the starting XI after resting several players in the defeat to Ireland, as winger Antonio Candreva is out with a hamstring problem.

Holders Spain are expected to name the same team for the fourth game running and defender Sergio Ramos is the only player coming into this last 16 tie on a yellow card.

England v Iceland
2000 ~ Allianz Riviera, Nice

England may have lost out on top spot to Wales in group B but the Three Lions have been handed an easy draw but boss Roy Hodgson knows his side must be alert against a spirited Iceland.

Iceland left it late to seal a 2-1 win over Austria image: bbc.com

Iceland left it late to seal a 2-1 win over Austria
image: bbc.com

“We have to accept the title of favourites but regardless it will be a difficult game and they will be hard to beat,” said the 68-year-old.

“You never know how someone is going to play, but you do know what you’re selecting. You see them in training and you try to choose the best possible players for that game. I’m fortunate that if something isn’t functioning as I would like, we have options on the bench.”

Iceland are unbeaten at Euro 2016 as they upset the odds to qualify for the round of 16 and co-manager Lars Lagerback is hopeful the dream run can continue as they set out to shock England.

“I would expect England to have more possession, but you never know,” said the Swede.

“The starting XI from the Austria match have had three days to reload physically and mentally. They are looking forward to the game and in the team meetings we’ve started to focus more and more on taking another step.”

Team News

Captain Wayne Rooney and the Tottenham quartet Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker are all expected to return to the starting line-up after being rested against Slovakia. Defenders Gary Cahill and Ryan Bertrand are one booking away from a ban.

Striker Alfred Finnbogason is back in contention for Iceland after missing the win over Austria through suspension, while Kari Arnason, Birkir Bjarnason, Johann Gudmundsson, Hannes Halldorsson, Birkir Sævarsson, Ari Skulason and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson are all on a yellow card.

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