The opening game of Euro 2020 takes place a year later (because of the pandemic) between two teams who are undefeated so far this year.
Italy, currently No. 7 in the FIFA rankings, will host Turkey on Friday at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome with the Azzurri favored to take the points in this one. The Italians are among the teams that are in a position to win the Euros.
But Turkey’s form as of late, coupled with Italy’s habit of starting major tournaments on the wrong foot, could end with a surprise result.
Italy have been in fantastic form since former striker Roberto Mancini took over as manager, putting together a 26-game unbeaten streak that dates back to September 2018.
Mancini, brought in after the Italians failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, has transformed the team and infused it with a mix of Serie A veterans and up-and-coming talents.
Among those new talents is defender Leonardo Spinazzola and midfielder Nicolo Barella, part of Mancini’s 4-3-3 that also features strikers Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne. The backline, anchored by veterans Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, has traditionally been the Italians’ biggest strength.
Turkey, meanwhile, will be a formidable opponent and like to play a 4-1-4-1 under coach Senol Gunes. Led by striker Burak Yılmaz, Turkey, ranked No. 29 by FIFA, are unbeaten this year as they look to have a strong Euros as well as qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
The team features several notable players, including Liverpool center back Ozan Kabak and Leicester City defender Caglar Soyuncu. Two players on the team’s Euro roster, defenders Kaan Ayhan and Merih Demiral, play in Italy with Sassuolo and Juventus, respectively.
Italy and Turkey are both in Group A, which also features Wales and Switzerland. The tournament’s 24 teams are divided into six groups of four. The top two teams from each group (plus four third-place teams with the best records) advance to the 16-team knockout stage.
The Euros will be played in 11 cities — Amsterdam, Baku, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome, Seville and St. Petersburg — and will feature spectators, the first major international soccer tournament to have them since the pandemic struck in March 2020.
Below you can find all the viewing information to watch the Euro 2020 match between Italy and Turkey.
Italy vs Turkey Euro 2021: How to watch Euro 2020 opening match
Date: Friday, June 11
Start time: 3 p.m.
Location: Rome, Italy
Stadium: Stadio Olimpico
TV Info: ESPN