After a year of delay, Euro 2020 finally kicks off tonight at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome as around 16,000 fans will be in attendance to see Turkey take on Italy in Group A, and fans are expected for the fifty-plus one matches in the eleven cities that host this competition, so it will be nice to see and hear as the world slowly tries to return to some sort of normalcy.
The Italians are a long way from where they were in 2018 after failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and since Roberto Mancini took the helm at the time, Italy has been in superb form and is undefeated since 2018, they made it through the qualifiers for this tournament too, so it’s really chalk and cheese to compare the two situations.
Their home form is superb too, and as this is the first major tournament game in Italy since the 1990 World Cup final at this stadium, can the Italians dare to dream of a major trophy, they are certainly among the favorites to lift the European Championship trophy at Wembley next month after the form they have been in lately.
Turkey will not be child’s play, however, and many expect a lot of people to have a few surprises in store this summer, their squad includes striker Burak Yilmaz, midfielder Yusuf Yazici and defender Zeki Celik all of them. members of the Lille champion squad in France, and they have also been in superb form lately, including a superb 4-2 victory over the Dutch in World Cup qualifying, so they will certainly give the Italians something to think about. tonight.
Who is likely to line up for both sides tonight then? Well, Italy could name the same team that beat the Czech Republic in a friendly last week, Marco Veratti hasn’t recovered from a knee problem which means Manuel Locatelli would have to take his place in midfield, while Domenico Berardi is expected to play on the right. -Winger ahead of Federico Chiesa, Locatelli has scored in each of his last four outings for the Italians.
Lorenzo Pellegrini was injured in training a few days ago. He could therefore call up Gaetano Castrovilli as a replacement, but UEFA must first confirm this before they can do so, while for Turkey they will be deprived of their top qualifying scorer Cenk Tosun. who unfortunately misses the tournament after injuring their knee in April, so it’s a big blow for them.
Yilmaz, now 35, will lead the line, while winger Cengiz Under could start well after scoring as a substitute in the Turks’ last warm-up game, but whoever lines up against the Italians will certainly give everything and try to surprise in the opening game of the competition, despite losing their four opening games in Euros and keeping only one clean sheet in their last ten games in a major tournament .
Italy are also on an eight-game winning streak at the moment, three short of their winning streak in 2019, and they have never lost to Turkey, winning seven of their ten matches, despite their two recent matches in 2002 and 2006, both friendly, ended at zero, and their only meeting in a major tournament came 21 years ago at Euro 2000, which saw Italy win 2 -1.
But the stats don’t mean much, it all depends on what happens on the pitch that day, and that day is today and tonight, can the Italians continue their winning streak and well start their tournament, or can Turkey upset the apple basket and take their first win over Italy and give themselves a superb start to Euro 2020, we’ll find out later tonight.
Follow us on social media
Join our sports community