It was all meant to begin in June 2020. But, COVID-19 sent football back, forcing a number of tournaments to reschedule. After another year filled with club football, Italy and Turkey prepare to light up the European stage in celebration of the competition’s 60th birthday.
Italy, one of the 11 host nations, aim to take their unblemished record from the Euro 2020 qualifiers into the main stage and Turkey will hope to make their presence felt, as they historically did in the 2008 edition against tough opposition.
Gli Azzurri first tasted silverware in the 1968 edition and have not enjoyed any success since, failing in eight other appearances. For Turkey, it will be their fourth run with zero titles to boast of.
A tight affair expected
Opening games in the Euros have proven to be closely contested by all teams involved. In the last four editions, all opening games have not witnessed any team win by more than one goal.
In 2004, eventual champions Greece shocked hosts Portugal with a 2-1 victory. Four years later, Czech Republic were able to snatch a 1-0 victory from the competition’s hosts Switzerland.
Poland and Greece had both men sent off in a 1-1 stalemate and Dimitri Payet’s late strike ensured an opening day 2-1 win for France over Romania five years prior. Using previous data, staking over 3.5 should be avoided.
The two teams have fully fit squads and are ready to take center stage in the opener.
Italy predicted XI: Donnarumma, Emerson, Chiellini, Bonucci, Florenzi, Jorginho, Barella, Veratti, Insigne, Chiesa, Belotti
Turkey predicted XI: Cakir, Demiral, Celik, Kabak, Soyuncu, Calhanoglu, Yokuslu, Yazici, Tufan, Karaman, Yilmaz
Italy are overwhelming favorites to win the game at the time of writing with their odds pinned at 1.53 on Betway whilst Turkey are priced at 6.42.
Roberto Mancini’s men have also been highly favored to break the deadlock, priced at 1.45 with Turkey priced at 3.48.
Italy v Turkey Head-to-Head
15th November 2006- Italy 1-1 Turkey (International Friendly)
20th November 2002- Italy 1-1 Turkey (International Friendly)
11th June 2000- Turkey 1-2 Italy (UEFA European Championship)
21st December 1994- Italy 3-1 Turkey (International Friendly)
3rd March 1984- Turkey 1-2 Italy (International Friendly)
Italy have clearly been dominant in their encounters against Turkey, winning three of their last five battles. The two teams have only clashed in the Euros once in the last three decades, with Italy narrowly coming out on top.
In fact, Turkey have never beaten Italy in any fixture, winning five of eight.
How to follow the tournament in Ghana
Enjoy selected live matches televised on Joy Prime (English) and Adom TV (Akan). You can also watch games in high definition on the HD+ Decoder, where Joy Prime HD is channel 102 and Adom TV HD is channel 103.
On radio, get live commentary of this match in English (Joy 99.7 FM, Luv 99.5 FM and/or Hitz 103.9 FM) or in Akan (Adom 106.3 FM, Nhyira 104.5 FM, and Asempa 94.7 FM).
You can also get all the above programs (radio and TV) streaming on the media section of this website.
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