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Euro 2020: How to watch Turkey vs Italy - Preview, TV Channel, Live Stream & More
Euro 2020 kicks off with a bang as two relative dark horses go head-to-head with the whole of Europe watching
It's finally here. Anticipation has been growing since the end of the European domestic season and fans across the continent are now set to enjoy a major international tournament for the first time in three years. Neither Turkey nor Italy are at the tippy top of the bookies' lists to win Euro 2020 but both have been earmarked as ones-to-watch by pundits and experts. This Euros is going to be unlike any other as the world crawls out of the wreckage of the Covid-19 pandemic and a summer of celebration and festival of football begins this Friday.
Form: Turkey vs Italy
Turkey are in the middle of the pack at 50/1 to win this summer's finals but they are perhaps being underestimated. Under coach Senol Gunes - who led the nation to a third-place finish in the 2002 World Cup - they are a well organised and dangerous outfit capable of causing any side trouble. This was evidenced by their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, in which they conceded only three goals in 10 games, kept eight clean sheets and took four points from World Champions and tournament favourites France. They are the youngest squad at the Euros but Gunes seems to have them very well drilled. They don't concede easily and they have more than enough quality and flair further up the pitch to do damage. Their lack of experience could prove costly, and their record of losing an opening game at the Euros four times on the bounce won't inspire confidence, but Italy will have their work cut out for them if they are going to get all three points here.
The Italians themselves have been utterly transformed under former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini. After missing out on World Cup 2018 under Gianpieri Ventura, it was clear the Italian national side needed a new direction. They have gotten just that. In three years they've gone from a lacklustre, directionless team to a tactically astute, well balanced winning machine, in characteristically Italian fashion. In this strangest of formats, Italy will play all three of their group games at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome and will hope that home advantage can play its part. Those Italians fans are certainly in for a treat. A squad boasting invaluable experience and youthful exuberance in equal measure, they've won 21 from 30 during the Mancini era, losing only twice, and are currently on an eight game winning streak.
Both teams will come into this game supremely confident and it should be a fascinating tactical battle between the two coaches.
Team News: Turkey vs Italy
Turkey have some great options at centre back but are likely to start with Caglar Soyuncu of Leicester City and Juventus' Merih Demiral with Liverpool loanee Ozan Kabak able to fill in if needed. While only 23 and 25 respectively, they are rock solid at the heart of the Turkish defence and both good enough on the ball to start moves off from deep. They will provide a fantastic platform for their teammates in more advanced positions. Despite West Brom being relegated from the Premier League, Okay Yokuslu impressed their on loan and will likely be the anchor in midfield. He could be supported by any number of versatile, tricky playmakers ahead of him - Ozan Tufan of Fenerbahçe, Cengiz Under of Roma or Hakan Çalhanoğlu of AC Milan. Up top they will be counting on Burak Yilmaz to carry his free-scoring form at club level into the Euros. The 35-year-old's unexpected Indian summer has seen him rack up 16 goals in 28 Ligue 1 appearances for Lille, contributing massively to their shock title win this season.
Possible Lineup: Cakir, Celik, Demiral, Soyuncu, Meras, Yokuslu, Calhanoglu, Tufan, Under, Yazici, Yilmaz
Italy will have an equally stubborn, if a little less agile, centre back pairing in Juventus duo Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. At 36 and 34, what they lack in pace, they make up for in experience and intelligence. They will aim to keep things tight at the back and get the ball to the creative three-man midfield ahead of them to start attacks. The Azzurri will be without PSG star Marco Verratti for at least the first group game and so Jorginho is likely to be flanked in the centre of the pitch by deep-lying playmaker Manuel Locatelli of Sassuolo and Nicolò Barella who has impressed at Inter this season. While Jorginho recycles possession and shuts down any opposition threats, Locatelli and Barella will get forward to support attacks and also hit long precision passes to the wide forwards. Ciro Immobile scored 20 goals in another great season at Lazio and he will almost certainly start as centre forward, supported by dynamic attackers either side who can get balls into the box or cut inside. Those two will likely be Lorenzo Insigne of Napoli and Federico Chiesa of Juventus. Lorenzo Insigne could also get the nod in this position.
Possible Lineup: Donnarumma, Florenzi, Chiellini, Bonucci, Spinnazola, Jorginho, Locatelli, Barella, Insigne, Chiesa, Immobile
How to watch Turkey vs Italy on TV & Live Stream
This opening game of Euro 2020 will be broadcast live on free-to-air network the BBC. You can join Gary Lineker and his panel for live coverage and pre-game analysis at 19.00 GMT on BBC One. The match will kick off at 20.00. UK residents can also watch the game for free via live stream on BBC iPlayer. You must have a UK TV license to watch this content.
Stay tuned for all you need during Euro 2020
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