After managing to remain undefeated since 2018 in their last 27 fixtures, Roberto Mancini’s Italian squad are all set to lock horns against one of the most unpredictable teams of EURO 2020, Turkey, at the Stadio Olympic stadium in Rome. Moreover, with three of the four teams ranked within 20 in the current FIFA rankings and Turkey sitting 29th, this could be the most fiercely contested group.
Both teams have locked horns on 11 occasions, wherein the Azzurri has emerged on top on 8 of them. Will Senol Guenes prove to be the tactical difference among both sides? Or does Mancini have enough trump card to destroy the Turkish side? It majorly depends on the top 3 battles to watch out for in the inaugural match of Euro 2020.
Three Battles to Watch Out for in Italy vs Turkey EURO 2020 Opener
Burak Yilmaz vs Leonardo Bonucci
Both players are experienced and incredibly strong. With the Turkish striker, Yilmaz being 35 years old, he is probably at the peak of his strength and power. While Bonucci needs no introduction in holding off tall players.
If Yilmaz holds the advantage of height, then Bonucci surely has the upper hand in making Yilmaz hold off the ball. Turkey’s premium game plan has been to play through their central striker, while Bonucci is definitely the key in stopping that from happening.
Ciro Immobile vs Merih Demiral
Both players have plenty of experience after playing in the Italian top tier. With Ciro Immobile known to find spaces inside the box, it is the sole duty of the more experienced centre back, Merih Demiral, to stop his Serie A companion from doing so.
None of these two players holds the advantage in speed, yet they can be strong in proving to be the difference-maker. If Italy were to make a deep run into this tournament, they would want their ideal striker, Ciro Immobile to finally shine on the international stage.
Whereas if Turkey were to pull off this miracle, it has to be done by keeping the Italian attack at bay. Which evidently signifies the importance of the experienced Demiral.
Cengiz Under vs Manuel Locatelli
Both these 23-year-old players are the key to success in the mid-field for their respective nations. On one side, there is Italy’s Manuel Locatelli, who has triggered the biggest European clubs to acquire him after an emphatic 2020-21 season with Sassuolo. On the other hand, is the Leicester City mid-fielder Cengiz Under who has fast-paced experience of English football.
With both players having a parallel approach whilst paying on the same position, it remains to be seen who is able to dominate whom in spearheading their nation victorious in the inaugural match of EURO 2020.