Turkey and Italy get us underway in this summer’s tournament on Friday, and this game should have enough quality to serve up a cracker.
European Championship 2020
Turkey come into this tourney on the back of a strong qualifying campaign, losing just once in ten games. The Crescent Stars are big underdogs this summer, but with a couple of friendly wins keeping them in fine tune leading up to this game, one will expect they take the game to their illustrious opposition.
History is not on their side however: the Senol Güneş-led side have lost all four of their previous opening games at this competition’s finals. Thus, the legendary Turkish manager will bid his team’s stars raise their game, with the likes of Burak Yilmaz, Cenk Tosun, Cengiz Ünder and Hakan Calhanoglu set to play important roles.
Their opposition, Italy are beginning to find their footing after suffering the ignominy of failing to qualify for the World Cup in 2018. It’s been a long time since they won this competition too(1968), but a perfect record of ten from a qualification pool is still
Roberto Mancini’s side are thus, firm favourites for this year’s Euros, and thanks to an exceptional current form which have seen them win 22 and drawn five of their last 27 games, Azurri can equal an Italian record set in 1939 (30 games unbeaten) if they can negotiate an unbeaten run in Group A.
This is a repeat of the first fixture at Euro 2000. Turkey lost that one 2-1, but still progressed to the quarter finals that year. What does this one hold in store then?
There are no missing players for Turkey, so Günes will have a complement of squad to pick from.
Marco Verratti is a doubt to start for Italy as he is still recovering from an injury suffered since over a month ago.
Lorenzo Pellegrini reportedly picked up a left thigh injury in training yesterday, which automatically rules him out of this fixture. Gaetano Castrovelli has been called up in his place.
Turkey last five games: WDWDW
Italy last five games: WWWWW
Turkey are unbeaten in their last six European Championship games.
Italy have been winning at both half time and full time in their last three European Championship matches.
As far as opening games go in major tournaments such like this, there definitely would be plenty of nerves from both sides. And while a draw result cannot be ruled out, Italy will surely be looking to get off to a winning start, and they have a superior squad to do so.
A win for the Azurri is prized at 1/2 on BetClever.
Odds subject to change – 18+|BeGambleAware.org – Please gamble responsibly