Italy will face Turkey in UEFA EURO 2020 Group A in Rome on Friday. Italy is still looking for its second Euro Title after lifting the trophy on home soil in 1968. Also, this a fact that Turkey could be a surprise package in Group A.
What’s the story?
This is quite sure to be a tournament opener with an extra special feel. Italy is unbeaten in their last 27 fixtures. Also, they will have the added boost of home advantage at the Olimpico in Rome. Also, Turkey is looking to avoid defeat in their first match of a EURO.
Turkey: Uğurcan Çakır; Zeki Çelik, Merih Demiral, Çağlar Söyüncü, Umut Meraş; Okay Yokuşlu, Ozan Tufan, Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Cengiz Ünder, Kenan; Burak Yılmaz
Italy: Donnarumma; Florenzi, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Locatelli; Berardi, Immobile, Insigne
What the coaches say
Şenol Güneş, Turkey coach: “The result we get in the first match is important; a draw or a win can confuse the group. I hope so. I want to see our strength in the first match; even if we lose, it’s important to play well. I hope it’s going to be a great game, an enjoyable game … and that we win!”
Roberto Mancini, Italy coach: “We must respect Turkey, they are a side full of talent. The opener is always difficult, and there will be plenty of emotions but you can’t get too carried away. I don’t think there is an excess of enthusiasm: The fans can have that; we know who we are up against. The desire to be protagonists at this EURO is huge but this is a match to be played with lightheartedness. We can do it!”
Form guide (most recent first)
Also read, Review of Italy Euro 2020 squad
Italy has asked UEFA to replace Lorenzo Pellegrini with Fiorentina’s Gaetano Castrovilli in their Euro 2020 squad. The Roma midfielder picked up an injury. It is officially said by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) on Thursday.
Pellegrini was struggling for fitness just before the tournament. Although, he got a place in Roberto Mancini’s 26-man squad. Again he got an injury in training on Wednesday.
Manuel Locatelli is poised to start in midfield with Marco Verratti. Also, he is still stepping up his fitness. Mancini puts his faith in the solid defensive triangle. They have goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and his two highly experienced center-backs Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
Turkey’s main back 3 will be Juventus’s center-back Merih Demiral alongside Leicester City’s Caglar Soyuncu and Okay Yokuslu.
Italy has never lost at the Stadio Olimpico in a major tournament. They won six and drew two in World Cup and Euro combined. Also, they haven’t conceded a single goal in their last seven games.
Turkey conceded only 3 goals in 10 games in the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign. It is the joint-best defensive record alongside Belgium.
Italy was one of only two teams to win 100 percent of their games in the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign (10/10). Another team is Belgium. They scored 37 goals in their last 10 Euro 2020 qualification matches (3.7 per game).