In a game with a lot of political tension, Turkey and Italy face each other at the start of the Euro 2020.
An Italy in good shape will meet Turkey in Rome on Friday, while Euro 2020 finally starts a year behind schedule and the corona virus continues to cast a shadow on the tournament.
In Rome, the Stadio Olimpico will be about 25 percent full, which means 16,000 fans will be in attendance to see Roberto Mancini’s Italy in Group A’s first game against Turkey. Somehow it seems appropriate that Italy, the first country in Europe to be overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic, is hosting the championship opening game.
Euro 2020, Group A preview: Advantage Italy, Turkey promise to deliver
After embarrassingly unable to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Italy won all 10 of their Euro 2020 qualifying games and started a series of 27 games without defeat.
Turkey took four points away from France in qualifying , including a 2-0 win over the world champions, and lost just one of their games and finished second in their group.
The matchup also has some political overtones after Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi beat Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan referred to as a « dictator » in April. Turkey called the Italian ambassador to protest and a spokesman for the president called on Draghi to withdraw his words. Draghi did not issue a public apology or withdrawal, however.
Draghi is unlikely to be in the game as he will be attending a G7 summit in the UK on Friday. Erdogan is not expected either.
Italy midfielder Pellegrini injured himself on the eve of Euro 2020
Euro 2020: Locatelli enjoys the Italian childhood dream before thinking about his future
Defenders: Kaan Ayhan, Zeki Celik, Merih Demiral, Ozan Kabak, Umut Meras, Mert Muldur, Caglar Soyuncu, Rıdvan Yılmaz
Midfielders: Taylan Antalyalı, Hakan Calhanoglu, Halil Dervişoglu, Irfan Can Kahveci, Orkun Kokcu, Abdulkadir Omur, Dorukhan Tokoz, Ozan Tufan, Okay Yokuslu
Defenders: Francesco Acerbi, Alessandro Bastoni, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Emerson Palmieri, Alessandro Florenzi, Leonardo Spinazzola, Rafael Toloi
Midfielders: Nicolo Barella, Bryan Cristante, Jorginho, Manuel Locatelli, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Stefano Sensi, Marco Verratti, Federico Bernardeschi, Federico Chiesa
The Euro 2020 will be played in India via Sony Sports Network broadcast. You can also watch the game live on the Sony LIV app.
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