Will Turkey get stage fright?
With the eyes of the footballing fraternity watching events unfold in Rome, will Turkey hold it together in the Eternal City or will they get stage fright and collapse? In qualifying, Turkey looked strong as they notched up seven wins from 10 games, and Cenk Tosun was their top scorer with five goals.
Of course, facing the Italians on their home turf is another matter altogether. Zeki Celik will be one to watch, as the marauding right-back impressed at Lille last term, and he has found himself attracting interest from a swathe of Premier League suitors, including Manchester United.
Turkey has a decent track record of performing well at major tournaments, including the World Cup 2002 where Senol Gunes guided them to third place before he reprised his role in 2019. Against the Italians, Turkey can’t afford to sit back, as Italy have the players to pick them off.
Five years ago, Turkey crashed out in the group stages, but they will be hoping to extend their stay a little longer this time round. Intriguingly, you can get odds of 13/10 for there to be more than 2.5 goals between Turkey and Italy.
To get things underway at Euro 2020, Turkey v Italy has the potential to be a pulsating encounter. Italy, who previously won the tournament in 1968, have been close to glory a couple of times in recent years including when they were finalists in 2000 and 2012. A strong start is imperative for them to have the tournament they’re hoping for
Mancini has his team well trained, and he won’t allow complacency to kick in. Roared on by a predominantly partisan crowd, Italy will feed off this, and they could well end up sticking a few past Turkey. Italy haven’t been talked up much as Euro 2020 contenders, but against Turkey, they can lay an early marker, and they won’t want to miss the opportunity to start the tournament strong.
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