After being delayed for almost one year, EURO 2020 is set to kick off this Friday. We will see the 24 best teams in Europe square off for international glory, and 11 different cities will host matches in this truly international event. Italy will host the first game at the Stadio Olimpico, and the Azzurri are prohibitive favorites against Turkey. Don't miss a moment of EURO 2020. This match will be held at Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy at 3 p.m. ET. Catch every moment of the match live on ESPN.
UEFA EURO 2020 Odds at BookMaker.eu
Over/Under 2 and 2.5
Turkey’s international performance over the last nine months has been something of a head-scratcher. The Crescent-Stars have been able to draw Serbia (twice), Russia, and Germany. They have defeated Russia and the Netherlands in meaningful matches, but they have underwhelmed against smaller countries too. In late March, Turkey had to settle for a 3-3 draw with Latvia in Istanbul, and they couldn’t net a goal in a scoreless draw with Guinea at home on May 31.
Their main playmaker is Hakan Calhanoglu. The AC Milan midfielder has 13 goals and 18 assists for his club over the last two seasons. Calhanoglu is the second-leading active goals scorer on the team with 13 goals for Turkey.
The other two players to keep an eye on are Cengiz Under and Burak Yilmaz. Although Under has yet to become a regular contributor in Leicester City’s starting XI, he has scored nine goals in 29 matches for the national team.
Yilmaz is the captain and primary forward for Turkey. He has scored the second-most goals in the history of the national team. His 29 goals have him trailing only Hasan Sukur when it comes to productivity for Turkey, and he had a great season at the age of 35 years old. Yilmaz netted 16 goals and five assists for Ligue 1 side Lille, helping lead the club to just their fourth domestic title.
Roberto Mancini has overhauled Italy since taking over as the head coach of the national team. He has brought pride back to the Azzurri after they shockingly failed to make the 2018 World Cup. Italy now has some attacking power to go with its defensive prowess, but it’s still the defense that will get most of the attention.
Italy hasn’t conceded a goal in eight straight matches coming into EURO 2020. The Azzurri have only played a handful of quality teams though. The best three teams they have played are Poland, Northern Ireland, and Czech Republic, and they beat the first two countries 2-0 before hammering the Czechs 4-0.
Juventus’ back line mates Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are the leaders with over 100 caps. Jorginho is the lynchpin in the midfield, and Ciro Immobile, Andrea Belotti, and Lorenzo Insigne will be the three main forwards up top.
Matchup to Watch
This match will be determined by the play of Italy’s midfield. Other than Jorginho, there are no real consistent assets. Marco Verratti has only scored three goals for the national team in 40 caps, and Nicolo Barella is untested in major international tournaments.
There is a lot of potential here though. Verratti and Barella could be impact players in this match, and they should be able to control possession against Turkey.
Free EURO 2020 Betting Pick
It’s going to be tough for Turkey to find the back of the net. Italy has conceded just two goals in 13 matches since returning to play in early September. Turkey doesn’t have a do-it-all forward that can potentially punish them, so take Italy to win to nil.
EURO 2020 Odds: Italy 2, Turkey 0
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