Euro 2020 - Sir Raheem can bring it home! - England will need 'magic and spirit' to beat Italy
In the latest episode of the podcast collaboration between Eurosport and The Beautiful Game Justin Cole, Ola Fisayo and Deji Odedina gave their verdict on England beating Denmark to reach the Euro 2020 final. Is it coming home? The trio are confident England have the 'magic and spirit' to beat Italy.
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England's forward Harry Kane (R) celebrates with England's midfielder Phil Foden (L) after scoring a goal during the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-final football match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium in London on July 7, 2021.
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Italy are favourites to lift the trophy, but Odedina has banished the underdog tag and insists England must fancy themselves as European champions.
“I just think there’s something special happening,” he said. “If it was being held abroad, you wouldn’t really feel it. There’s an energy, a vibe and I think that’s contagious.
The players are feeding off it. They’re soaking it in. They know this is their chance to be immortalised in history. This is the chance for Sir Raheem Sterling, Sir Harry Kane, Sir Kalvin Phillips. I think the boys will go out there and go and make it happen.
“We need to stop talking like England are underdogs. In their team they’ve got Premier League winners.
“Mason Mount is a Champions League winner. I think they just need to go out there and believe it.
“They can beat Italy. Is it going to be a massive task? Of course it is. But when you’re fighting for those top honours you can’t expect an easy touch. I think I’m just going to say it’s coming home.”
Odedina admitted if there was any side destined to play the villains of England’s story, it’s Italy. Roberto Mancini’s side are unbeaten in 33 games and have been the stand-out performers of Euro 2020.
The podcast trio all think the game could go to penalties and Odedina admitted he was slightly concerned by Harry Kane’s penalty miss against Denmark, even though he scored the rebound.
“That was probably one of the worst Harry Kane penalties I’ve seen. You could see before he took the penalty, the weight of a nation on his shoulders,” he said.
I think any team has to be prepared and part of that is being prepared for penalties.
“Finding the people in your team who are mentally strong enough to let the weight completely fall off their shoulders, let everything go to one side and have that moment with the ‘keeper.”
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Fisayo disagreed with Odedina, saying it was a well-struck penalty, but conceded spot-kicks could be crucial in the final.
“I think Gareth Southgate will go out to win the match, first and foremost,” Fisayo said.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Harry Kane of England and Raheem Sterling of England celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Semi-final match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium on Ju
Image credit: Getty Images
“Italy are definitely prepared to go to penalties and they trust themselves to win the match and they put everything on the line to make sure they don’t lose the match.
Going to penalties is always an option for them and an option they trust. They don’t have the same sort of psychology as England.
“England as a footballing nation has this fixation and history with penalties. That will always be a factor. I think it would be wise to get onto penalties.”