The European Championship (Euro 2020) will officially kick off tonight and all eyes would be in Rome, where Italy and Turkey will play the opening game of the tournament.
The opener which is scheduled to kick-off at 20:00 tonight, June 11, 2021, at Stadio Olimpico would entertain 15,000 spectators mostly football fans who reside in Italy. This could be a huge advantage for Italy who are one of the 12 host countries of Euro 2020.
Recall that the coronavirus pandemic forced the European football governing body, UEFA, to postpone the European Championship from June 2020 to June 2021. Coincidentally, one of the most hit countries, Italy, in terms of the pandemic will host the first game of the tournament.
Hence, the 15 thousand spectators that would be allowed to enter the stadium to watch the game are expected to carry not just the match ticket, but a document showing that they have been vaccinated against the virus.
If they have not been vaccinated, they are expected to carry a document from a government institution showing that they have been tested for the virus two days before the game, or a document showing that they recovered from the virus within the last six months.
The meeting between Italy and Turkey later tonight is a meeting between two teams that have shown strong defensive prowess. For instance, Italy have been so defensively good that they did not concede a goal in their last eight games.
In their last 32 games under coach Roberto Mancini, Italy have been able to keep 20 clean sheets in 32 matches which is one of the best defensive records currently.
Italy have been so good that they won all their 10 Euro 2020 qualification matches. They are going into the tournament with a 27-match unbeaten run.
As for Turkey, the players have shown that they can hold their own against some of the best strikers in the world. The solidity of their defends have seen them survive the goalscoring prowess of forwards like Erling Haaland of Norway during a World Cup qualifier and Memphis Depay of the Netherlands during the qualification rounds of Euro 2020.
Turkey qualified for Euro 2020 by conceding just three goals throughout the qualification round. This makes them a team to beat in Group A which consists of Switzerland, Italy, and Wales.
Recall that Turkey were so good during the qualification round that they stunned France 2-0. This proves that the team has the potential to beat any team in the competition.
Hence, any team, between Italy and Turkey that wins tonight’s opener may most likely top Group A throughout the group stage of the competition. The losing team would then have to battle it out with Wales and Switzerland for the second spot.
Italian veteran defender, Leonardo Bonucci said: “We’ve been waiting a year for this and we can’t wait to experience hearing 15,000 people singing the national anthem. Football with fans inside the stadium is a different sport…
“We want to go all the way. Other national teams have more experience but we can play with anyone. We don’t have a (Romelu) Lukaku or a Cristiano Ronaldo. Our strength is the team.”
While the coach of the Turkey national team, Senol Gunes said: “Being in this tournament and playing in the opening match makes us proud. In every opening game, there are surprises and I hope we can also spring one.”
Italy v Turkey football march prediction.
This is the first match of Euro 2020, we expected a good matchup between Turkey and Italy. Both teams are good enough for a surprise performance and clearly, any side can win today. However, we are going with Italy in this game.