Weekend Review: England iced out at Wembley in dire dress rehearsal

An unexpected loss to Iceland, dragging up memories of Euro 2016, sees the Three Lions head to Germany under a cloud of concern
The post Weekend Review: England iced out at Wembley in dire dress rehearsal first appeared on EGR Intel.  

England’s final preparations ahead of Euro 2024 ended with a whimper as Gareth Southgate’s side lost 1-0 at home to Iceland.

Jón Dagur Thorsteinsson’s first-half strike was enough to get the victory in what was a lacklustre performance from Harry Kane and co.

In fact, Kane failed to register a shot on target, while Phil Foden was unable to deliver his stunning Manchester City form and clubmate John Stones went off at half-time with an injury.

Despite some quality being introduced with the substitution of Trent Alexander-Arnold, England failed to light up Wembley and now head to Germany in less-than-inspired form.

The routine 3-0 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina was hardly one to set the pulses racing, with Southgate now looking to win his first major trophy at the fourth attempt.

“It was humbling, we have a point to prove with a chip on our shoulder”

England midfielder Kobbie Mainoo says the defeat to Iceland can be a source of motivation for the squad pic.twitter.com/cFBdu2WwbZ

— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) June 9, 2024

Betfred’s Alan Firkins said: “Ahead of the Euros blasting off on Friday, England are not overly popular at Betfred compared to previous tournaments, which is a bit of a shock considering the strength of the squad. England and France are still our 4/1 joint favourites.

“Perhaps we’re all overthinking it in terms of England given the modest friendly results, as no team frankly has looked like world-beaters in these decidedly ‘lukewarm ups.’

“We definitely have a thing about Iceland at around this time of the year (and not in a good way) but any repeats in Germany will surely be fatal.”

Kindred Group’s Ali Gill added: “A woeful display from England on Friday saw them fall to a 1-0 defeat to Iceland; hardly the ideal prep for Gareth and his men.

“But, no surprise, that was a great result for the book, which was just about the only positive from the whole occasion.”

Looking ahead to the Euros, which kicks off on Friday 14 June, with hosts Germany facing off against Scotland, Firkins said all signs were pointing to a well-engaged competition from the punters.

Hampden in fine voice

We’re under way for Scotland’s final game before #Euro2024

Watch Scotland v Finland live on BBC Scotland and BBC iPlayer #BBCFootball pic.twitter.com/sSMJhiNQiJ

— BBC Sport Scotland (@BBCSportScot) June 7, 2024

Steve Clarke’s men closed out their pre-tournament prep with a 2-2 draw against Finland, having won 2-0 away against Gibraltar earlier last week.

Firkins said: “Can only be a positive that a home nation in Scotland kick us off on Friday in Munich against the hosts, while England are not too far behind. Turnover is strong and hopefully will remain so.”

Away from international football, the French Open saw Carlos Alcaraz emerged victorious in a five-set thriller in Paris against Alex Zverev.

The world number three, who was 2-1 down in sets at one point, came roaring back in the back-half of the match, taking the final two sets 6-1 and 6-2.

The win makes the Spainard the youngest man in history to win a major on all surfaces, with the French Open his third title to go alongside his 2022 US Open and 2023 Wimbledon wins.

On the women’s side of the draw, Poland’s Iga Światek smashed past Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-1 to win her third French Open on the trot.

CARLOS I, PRINCE OF CLAY #RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/lZWMplAmYK

— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 9, 2024

The world number one breezed through the final in a curt 68-minute contest, giving the 23-year-old her fourth title at Roland-Garros overall.

Kindred Group’s Gill said: “After a marathon week in Paris, Carlos Alcaraz took home the French Open trophy. The match topped the turnover charts for the weekend and punters just about came out ahead, although the outright saw us finish in the positive.

“In the women’s draw, a hugely impressive display from Iga Światek saw her beat Jasmine Paolini to clinch her third French Open title in a row, and despite the overall result we managed to come out ahead all things considered on the final,” he added

The post Weekend Review: England iced out at Wembley in dire dress rehearsal first appeared on EGR Intel.


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