Italy face Turkey in Euro 2020 curtain raiser | Daily News

Italy face Turkey in Euro 2020 curtain raiser

Rome's Stadio Olimpico will host the opening game
Rome's Stadio Olimpico will host the opening game

Five years on from their last major tournament appearance, Italy take centre stage once more when they welcome Group ‘A’ rivals Turkey to Rome's Stadio Olimpico for the opening game of Euro 2020 today.

The Azzurri's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup was a national sporting tragedy for the four-time world champions.

But Manager Roberto Mancini has since built an attractive, exuberant side that comes into the tournament with ambitions of reaching the London final, five years on from the heartbreak of a penalty shoot-out defeat to Germany in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.

Anticipation has risen rapidly on the peninsula, and understandably so: The side are unbeaten in 27 games, a run going back to September 2018, and their steady improvement was underlined by a 4-0 win over the Czech Republic in their final warm-up game.

However, the Azzurri face a tough opening day task against a resilient and talented Turkey side that impressed in qualifying and has a penchant for big games.

Turkey took four points from two games against world champions France in Euros qualifying and have since beaten the Netherlands 4-2 in a World Cup qualifier and earned 3-3 friendly draws with Germany and Croatia.

History is on the hosts’ side, though. Italy have never lost to Turkey in 10 previous meetings in all competitions, winning seven and drawing three. (Agencies)

 


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