Our prediction for this Euro 2020 match:
Italy will be looking to kick off their EURO 2020 campaign in style when they take on Turkey at Stadio Olimpico on Friday evening. The Azzurri rolled over Czech Republic 4-0 in their last warm-up game, with the team extending their winning run to eight games. The Italians have been scoring goals for fun of late, and seeing that they take on Turkey in front of home fans, we are tempted to put our money on Roberto Mancini’s troops.
Ciro Immobile, who found the net in the crushing of Czech Republic, is widely expected to lead the line for the Azzurri. The Turks, on the other hand, will be led by Lille attacker Burak Yilmaz in their opener. Senol Gunes’ troops defeated Moldova in their last friendly before EURO 2020, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry against Italy. In their last meeting at the European Championship finals Italy defeated Turkey 2-1, with Filippo Inzaghi scoring the winner.
Highlighted Player (Hakan Calhanoglu):
Hakan Calhanoglu is another one in the long line of Turkish footballers who were born in Germany, so it is hardly surprising he came to prominence thanks to his performances in Bundesliga. The attacking midfielder with great vision and very good goalscoring record started his professional career at Karlsruher, scoring impressive 17 goals in 50 league outings to earn a move to Bundesliga side Hamburg.
The spell at Imtech Arena was merely a stepping stone for bigger things as 11 goals in his debut top flight campaign persuaded Bayer Leverkusen to splash nearly €15 million on his services. That proved a very good investment as Calhanoglu continued the rich vein of form, and it is now a matter of time before he joins one of European powerhouses.
The midfield maestro had a bright start to his career in the Turkey national team, scoring 5 goals in first 16 caps, and chances are he will become a leader for Milli Takim in the foreseeable future.
Highlighted Team (Italy):
With four World Cup titles and one European Championship trophy, Italy remain one of world’s most successful teams and they have also finished as runners up at major tournaments on four occasions. The Azzurri have become famous for their result oriented football over the years which is perfectly suited for World Cup and Euro finals, so it is now a surprise when they fail to reach the final stages.
After winning the second and third edition of the World Cup, Italy endured a difficult period until lifting their first European Championship title in 1968, while they also managed to show some improvement at the turn of the century. While winning the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the Azzurri reached Euro finals in 2000 and 2012, and they are still regarded as one of the leading sides in Europe.
There have been too many high-profile players leaving their mark on the national team to count, but the likes of Paolo Maldini, Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Dino Zoff, Roberto Baggio, Luigi Riva and Alessandro Del Piero will go down as some of the most successful ones.