Italy take on Turkey in UEFA EURO 2020 Group A in Rome on Friday 11 June at 21:00 CET.
What's the story?
The small matter of the opening game of UEFA EURO 2020 – at last; this is sure to be a tournament opener with an extra special feel. Italy are unbeaten in 27 fixtures and will have the added boost of home advantage at the Olimpico in Rome, with Turkey looking to avoid defeat in their first match of a EURO at the fifth time of asking.
Turkey: Uğurcan Çakır; Zeki Çelik, Merih Demiral, Çağlar Söyüncü, Umut Meraş; Okay Yokuşlu, Ozan Tufan, Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Cengiz Ünder, Kenan; Burak Yılmaz
Italy: Donnarumma; Florenzi, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Locatelli; Berardi, Immobile, Insigne.
Görkem Kirgiz, Turkey reporter: With dramatic comebacks and last-minute drama, Turkey have brought plenty of excitement to past EUROs, and Şenol Güneş has high hopes for this youthful team. The coach has made it clear that he is not coming to Rome in the hope of snatching a point; he wants to see his side play stylish football, and if they get everything right, they can cause a big upset in the opening match.
Paolo Menicucci, Italy reporter: The Azzurri have not lost a game since 2018 and are yet to concede a goal in 2021 but Turkey are certainly stronger than many teams Italy have faced recently. Still I see great enthusiasm in the camp. The Azzurri were brilliant in their last test ahead of EURO when they scored four against Czech Republic with glimpses of spectacular football, especially in attack where Lorenzo Insigne, Ciro Immobile and Domenico Berardi were all on target.
What the coaches say
Şenol Güneş, Turkey coach: "The result we get in the first match is important; a draw or a win can cause confusion in the group. I hope so. I want to see our strength in the first match; even if we lose, it's important to play well. Participating at EURO is a success, but it can't end there!"
Roberto Mancini, Italy coach: "Turkey are a strong team, because their players are good technically and physically strong. They have improved a lot. It will be the same playing against Switzerland and Wales. This group is quite hard. You’re unlikely to find weak teams in a competition like this."
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Turkey vs Wales – Wednesday 16 June, Baku
Italy vs Switzerland – Wednesday 16 June, Rome