Euro 2020 kicks off on Friday and the first game is Turkey vs Italy in Rome, with Italy one of 12 host nations. This game is the first of Group A and the historic stats favour Italy who have not lost to Turkey in ten matches and have won seven of their last eight opening matches at the Euro’s. They have also made the quarter finals at least in their last three Euro appearances.
Wales and Switzerland make up the group and the winner here will put themselves into a great position with four decent teams involved. Wales may well be seen as the weakest team in the group but they reached the semi final in Euro 2016. The bookies rate Italy 1/20 to qualify, with Switzerland and Turkey both 4/7 and Wales 5/6.
The teams’ two most recent games have both been 1-1 friendly draws 2002 and four years later, when Antonio Di Natale’s 39th-minute opener was cancelled out by a Marco Materazzi own goal three minutes later.
Turkey – PL 10 | Won 7 | GF 18 | GA 3
You could probably call Turkey underdogs for the tournament given their record of twelve games unbeaten. That includes a 4-2 win against Netherlands and a 1-1 draw with France. They also beat France 2-0 prior to that incredible run and when you look at the possession stats you can see they clearly have a plan. Against France they managed 36 and 37% and against Netherlands 34%. Expect Italy to have more of the ball but Turkey are clearly well drilled and only conceded three goals in ten qualification games. They scored 18 goals and hitting on the counter seems to suit them well. Turkey have averaged 2.6 bookings per game.
Ahyan – 3 bookings in 5 appearances
Celik – 2 bookings in 6 appearances
Demiral – 2 bookings in 8 appearances
Tufan – 2 bookings in 6 appearances
Italy – PL 10 | Won 10 | GF 37 | GA 4
Italy have been on a quite incredible run winning 15 games in a row, but if you look at the quality of those teams there isn’t really one good team among them. In their recent friendlies they played San Marino and Czech Republic, winning 7-0 and 4-0 but i think you do have to question that decision as a team that probably could have done with a test. Italy certainly know how to score hitting 37 in their 10 qualification matches. They only conceded 4 goals so there will be two very good defenses on display. Italy have received 1.4 bookings per game and that’s pretty high given the standard of opposition.
Jorginho – 2 bookings in 7 appearances
Verratti – 2 bookings in 5 appearances
Betting Tips: I expect Turkey to sit back and look to hit Italy on the counter. I think we may struggle for goals and fancy a tough opening match with plenty of fouls and bookings.
Over 45 Booking Points @ 5/4 with William Hill
Turkey @ 7/1 with William Hill