Match Time:9/5/2020 23:59 Saturday（GMT+8）
England will kick off their 2020-21 UEFA Nations League campaign on Saturday evening with a clash against Iceland in Reykjavik.The Three Lions have not been in action since thumping Kosovo 4-0 in their final Euro 2020 qualifier last November, but Iceland played two friendlies in the early stages of 2020, overcoming Canada and El Salvador.
Iceland struggled to make an impression in the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League, losing all four of their matches against Switzerland and Belgium to finish bottom of the section.Erik Hamren's side will be keen to show improvement in the current edition, but it would be fair to say that the national team are primarily focused on booking their spot at next summer's European Championships.Iceland will take on Romania in the semi-finals of the qualification playoffs on October 8 ahead of a potential clash against either Bulgaria or Hungary in the final in November.Our Boys famously qualified for Euro 2016 to reach its first major tournament and beat England in the round of 16, recording a 2-1 victory to advance to the quarter-finals, where they lost to host nation France.Iceland were also present at the 2018 World Cup - exiting in the group stage - and will be desperate to ensure that they qualify for next summer's European Championships, which are due to begin in June 2021.England, meanwhile, finished third in the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League, winning a group that contained Spain and Croatia before losing to Netherlands in the semi-finals of the competition.
The Three Lions beat Switzerland on penalties to claim third, though, and will fancy their chances of making another strong impression, despite the fact that Belgium are also present in this section.Gareth Southgate's side rounded off their qualification for Euro 2020 with a 4-0 victory over Kosovo back in November, ensuring that they would finish six points clear at the top of Group A.
In terms of what is to come, England will take on Denmark in their second UEFA Nations League clash on September 8 before facing Wales in a friendly on October 8 ahead of their next two matches in this tournament at home to Belgium and Denmark on October 11 and October 14.There is certainly an unfamiliar look to the Three Lions squad due to injuries and enforced withdrawals, but a number of young players will be looking to make their mark in the coming days.
Iceland Nations League form: LLLL
Iceland form (all competitions): LWDWWW
England Nations League form: DWWLW
England form (all competitions): WWLWWW
Iceland will be missing a number of key players for Saturday's contest, with Gylfi Sigurdsson, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Aron Gunnarsson, Alfred Finnbogason and Ragnar Sigurdsson all unavailable for selection.Brescia midfielder Birkir Bjarnason is therefore the most experienced player in the squad, and the 32-year-old is expected to feature in midfield, while there could also be starts for Arnor Sigurdsson and Mikael Anderson.Kolbeinn Sigthorsson is the leading scorer in the home side's squad with 26 goals, and the AIK forward could be joined in the final third by Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.As for England, Dean Henderson, Conor Coady, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Kalvin Phillips and Mason Greenwood will all be hoping to make their first international appearances.Marcus Rashford, Jordan Henderson, Harry Winks and Harry Maguire are amongst the notable absentees, meaning that the likes of Michael Keane, Mason Mount and Phil Foden could earn starts.Nick Pope is expected to be given the nod between the sticks, while Kyle Walker could feature at left-back due to the lack of options available to Southgate in that area of the field.There is expected to be a familiar look to the front three, though, with Raheem Sterling and Jadon Sancho set to operate either side of captain Harry Kane, who will be looking to add to his 32 international goals.
Iceland possible starting lineup:
Halldorsson; Hermannsson, Arnason, Ingason, Skulason; A Sigurdsson, Bjarnason, Trautason, Anderson; Bodvarsson, Sigthorsson
England possible starting lineup:
Pope; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Keane, Walker; Mount, Rice, Foden; Sterling, Kane, Sancho
Iceland VS England
Prediction: Iceland 0-2 England