Date: 12 June 2021
Time: 12:30 AM (IST)
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
After a wait of 5 long years, European Championships are finally back with Turkey and Italy locking horns in the opening encounter of the tournament on Friday night. While both sides have been in sensational form coming into EURO 2020, they would want to build on that momentum and start the championship on a positive note. They are part of a tricky Group A, featuring Switzerland and Wales and every match could prove to be vital in deciding the final standings.
Turkey are coming to the tournament on the back of a draw against Guinea and emphatic wins against Azerbaijan and Moldova. After getting knocked out in group stages in EURO 2016, they would be raring to prove a point this time around under the captaincy of 35-year-old Burak Yilmaz, who could be playing his last championship for the nation.
On the other hand, Italy are the dark horses this year and have been on a tremendous run of form under manager Roberto Mancini. The young-looking side thrashed San Marino and the Czech Republic in the build-up to the tournament. After a heartbreaking loss against Germany in a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals, last time around followed by failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the Azzurri would certainly want to turn the tides and prove their mettle on the international stage once again.
With two quality sides led by two charismatic managers, the stage is set for a mouth-watering start to what is going to be a fantastic tournament.
Matches played: 11
Won by Italy: 8
Won by Turkey: 0
Ended in Draw: 3
The veteran forward is coming to the tournament on the back of a successful season with Lille, where he guided his side to a historic Ligue 1 title and scored 16 goals in 28 games. Burak Yilmaz is a leader on and off the field and is going to be vital for Turkey in their opening contest against Italy.
The Italian striker had another impressive campaign for Lazio where he registered 25 goals and 8 assists in 41 appearances for the club. Ciro Immobile is one of the best finishers in the tournament and with so many playmakers in the side, he will certainly have a lot of opportunities to score goals.
Probable Starting XI
Mert Gunok, Zeki Celik, Merih Demiral, Caglar Soyuncu, Ridvan Yilmaz, Okay Yokuslu, Cengiz Ünder, Yusuf Yazici, Dorukhan Tokoz, Hakan Calhanoglu, Burak Yilmaz
Gianluigi Donnarumma, Alessandro Florenzi, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Spinazzola, Nicolò Barella, Jorginho, Manuel Locatelli, Federico Chiesa, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne