Denmark put in the best performance of the tournament so far but should we be worried about Belgium?
Those are the thoughts of Dotun Abijoh and Deji Odedina on the latest episode of the collaboration between Eurosport and The Beautiful Game.
The duo were joined by host Ola Fisayo to dissect the first four matches of the Last 16 round at Euro 2020.
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The tie of the round before a ball was kicked was Belgium up against defending champions Portugal, with Roberto Martinez’s side emerging as 1-0 winners thanks to Thorgan Hazard’s strike.
However the injuries suffered by the Belgians during the game have got the guys worried.
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“Regarding Belgium’s prospects in the tournament. It’s a tough one because they’ve got Italy next,” Odedina said.
“And with Kevin De Bruyne coming off again that’s very, very worrying. Eden Hazard as well he might have pulled his hamstring and that’s very worrying as well.
“I watched the first half of the game against Denmark and both of them weren’t there and Belgium looked really ponderous, running out of ideas as if they didn’t have a clue.
“Coming up against Italy I think that’s a bad style match-up. Not only can Italy create chances they know how to solidify.”
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Abijoh agreed saying, “Adding Axel Witsel, Eden Hazard and Kevin Bruyne takes Belgium from a Tier 2 team to a Tier 1 team.
“We just have to wait and see how serious the injuries are. De Bruyne’s did look nasty, Hazard’s you feel like he might be out for a week or two as well so I expect them to miss that game but it’s knockout football so it’s impossible to call. I think all these big games are going to be tight.”
The other big story of the around was Denmark hammering Wales to move into the quarter-finals and Abijoh was loving the performance of the team.
This was the performance of the tournament if I’m being honest, I’m really enjoying watching Denmark. A lot of people look at the score and see 4-0 but it could have been six or seven really they were exceptional.
“It’s not only the goals, it’s the build-up play, the creativity and attacking freedom. Wales just couldn’t cope. [Mikkel] Damsgaard is lighting up the tournament and I expect him to be linked with a big moves.”
Abijoh expanded his thoughts on how far Denmark could go. As far as he is concerned there is every chance that they can make a real splash given the emotional aspect of playing for Christian Eriksen, who suffered a cardiac arrest during the first match against Finland. Abijoh also doubled down on his previous statements saying that whatever happens they are the real winners of the tournament.
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“Denmark are a tricky team. They’ll be looking at their side of the draw and they’ll be thinking ‘hold on, can we actually do this for Christian Eriksen? Can we actually get to a European Championships final?’ because the door is open. They have a favourable quarter-final draw and then it’s potentially Germany or England or another two teams from that side. The door is open for any one of these teams to grasp the opportunity and take it.
“Going back to the performance it was lovely to see and the last goal capped it as you see the celebrations of the players, this is for Christian Eriksen. I’ve said it before this tournament for me is irrelevant, Denmark have already won it in my opinion wth the way they handled the Christian Eriksen situation.”
You can listen to the full episode here.
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