Countdown to Euro 2020: daily briefing
Follow live coverage of Italy against Turkey as Euro 2020 kicks off in Rome this evening after the tournament’s opening ceremony.
The tournament, delayed 12 months by the coronavirus pandemic, finally kicks off Friday night before a football party next month across the continent where Europe’s best team will be crowned.
Roberto Mancini’s Italy are one of 11 host nations and will begin their campaign as a Group A favorite when they face the Turks at Stadio Olimpico tonight, before group rivals Wales and Spain. Switzerland, will meet tomorrow in Baku.
The Italian team is a mix of veterans – with Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Jorginho – and young talents like Alessandro Bastoni and Federico Chiesa. Whatever team Roberto Mancini chooses, it will be full of quality.
Turkey is seen as a dark horse in some quarters, however, having beaten the Netherlands 4-2 in a World Cup qualifier earlier this year. Burak Yilmaz is a constant goal threat and his battle will be intriguing with the Italian defense.
Follow all the latest Stadio Olimpico set-ups and actions – including this opening ceremony – here:
Italy team news
Italy have asked UEFA for permission to replace Lorenzo Pellegrini with Gaetano Castrovilli of Fiorentina in his Euro 2020 squad after the Roma midfielder suffered an injury, the Italian Football Association announced on Thursday ( FIGC).
Manuel Locatelli is expected to start in midfield with Marco Verratti improving his physical form even further. Mancini relies on the strong defensive triangle of goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and his two central defenders Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
Andrew GambleJune 11, 2021 2:11 PM
Gunes ready to “bring forth” a surprise
Turkey took four points from France in qualifying, including a 2-0 victory over the World Cup winners, and only lost one of their matches to finish second in Group H.
Head coach Senol Gunes guided the Crescent-Stars to major tournaments and earned them a “dark horse” label.
“Being in this tournament and playing the opener makes us proud. In every opening game there are surprises and I hope we can create one as well. “
Andrew GambleJune 11, 2021 1:59 PM
Lippi identifies Barella and Immobile as key players
Marcello Lippi believes that Nicolò Barella and Ciro Immobile will be the main Italian players at Euro 2020, but warns: “It’s not like in 2006”.
Marcello Lippi, the former Italian coach who guided the Azzuri to 2006 World Cup glory, previewed Euro 2020 in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I can see that Italy has the self-esteem and the quality to achieve a great result. There is ambition and a solid foundation, but it’s not like in 2006, when we played more games before the tournament started, ”said the 73-year-old.
“However, the reality is that Italy always plays to win, every time we play a big competition. If we are lucky and all the players are in good shape, then anything is possible.”
“I see two players who can be decisive. The first is Nicolò Barella, because he does everything that the best players do at his post. He attacks and defends, he has the confidence to shoot from outside the penalty area, he is the prototype of a great international midfielder.
“The other is Ciro Immobile. I trust him and I think the right time has come to reap the rewards of his hard work, ”continued the former TC.
“[Roberto] Mancini has done so much. He has boosted the team’s self-esteem, Italy is playing attacking football and the coach knows how to win.
Andrew GambleJune 11, 2021 1:50 PM
Turkey vs Italy: defensive masterclass at the rendezvous
It will certainly be an interesting opening game, with two teams dominating defensively.
In the blue corner, Italy have won their last eight games without conceding a goal and have 20 clean-sheets in 32 appearances since Roberto Mancini took over as coach.
In the red corner, one of Turkey’s strengths is its solidity at the rear. Gunes’ side allowed just three goals in qualifying and managed to keep forwards Memphis Depay and Erling Haaland in shape in the recent World Cup qualifiers against the Netherlands and Norway.
Andrew GambleJune 11, 2021 1:36 PM
Euro 2020 Italy Team Guide
In the ever-changing nature of international football, Italy has a trump card up its sleeve with its manager, Roberto Mancini, who is a serious contender in the conversation about the best manager of Euro 2020.
After lifting a nation in shock after the humiliation of completely missing the 2018 World Cup, the former Manchester City and Inter Milan boss inspired a remarkable 25-game unbeaten streak stretching back to 2018 and a 1-0 Nations League loss against Portugal.
Yet to do without the old guard altogether, Mancini rather smoothly integrated the bright young talents at his disposal, including Alessandro Bastoni, Nico Barella, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Federico Chiesa, all of whom have established themselves as key elements for the Azzurri. .
Andrew GambleJune 11, 2021 1:24 PM
Turkey: the black horses of Euro 2020?
Turkey have proven remarkably difficult to beat in recent times, losing only three times in their 26 appearances since Senol Gunes returned to the hot seat.
Not only were competition favorites France unable to beat them at home or away, they were more recently 4-2 winners over the Netherlands in the 2022 Qatar qualifiers, as the Veteran striker Burak Yilmaz – Ligue 1 champion with Lille – scored a hat-trick and elusive playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu also found the target.
As they approach a championship that they have too often failed to reach in the past, the Crescent-Stars – semi-finalists in 2008 – will look to match their previous best results, if the draw goes well – because they are strong contenders for progress from a group which also includes Wales and Switzerland.
Andrew GambleJune 11, 2021 1:12 PM
Roberto Mancini warns Italy not to underestimate Turkey when Euro 2020 opens
Roberto Mancini has warned his dynamic Italian side to be on guard as they prepare to launch their Euro 2020 campaign against Turkey at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Mancini’s men enter the tournament as one of the favorites for the title after embarking on a 27-game unbeaten streak, including winning their 10 qualifying matches.
But Mancini, who spent a year coaching Galatasaray in the Turkish Super Lig, is only too aware of the threat posed by his opponents and the possibility of freezing at the big opportunity.
Andrew GambleJune 11, 2021 1:04 PM
Ventura hails Mancini after Italy ‘hits rock bottom’
Former Italy manager Gian Piero Ventura said Roberto Mancini did a great job after the Azzurri hit rock bottom.
Mancini was named to replace Ventura and led Italy to Euro 2020, losing just two of their 30 games in charge of the Azzurri.
“He did a great job. Now all he needs is the icing on the cake, ”Ventura told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “Italy was only able to rise after hitting rock bottom, but it was not easy. Mancini deserves praise for his confidence in many young players who have become the cornerstones of this team. He made the field speak.
“I think Italy will be in the top four at Euro 2020,” he added. “France remains favorite, but Italy will be among the main protagonists. England has Foden, France has Mbappé and Belgium has Lukaku, to name just three important players.
“We have a team because each player is at the service of the team. We are like a club that plays a tournament for the national teams.
Andrew GambleJune 11, 2021 12:56 PM
Euro 2020: Roberto Mancini makes up for lost time as he leads Italy new look
Finalist in Turkey with Galatasaray. A respectable but unspectacular season and a half that tries to overthrow the Inter tanker. A disappointing year without distinction at Zenit Saint Petersburg. And now a stint in international football, where coaching careers often die. This isn’t usually what most Premier League title-winning managers do next, but Roberto Mancini has always tended to do his own thing.
This is certainly the reputation he earned during his three years at Manchester which, while tumultuous, reshaped the city’s football landscape. If Pep Guardiola is the ideal figurehead of present-day Manchester City with his designs for world domination, then so was Mancini for the insurgent and sharply-bent city when they sought to shake their New Rich tag at the turn of the last decade.
Mancini’s bullish and direct manner and his dictatorial idiosyncrasies would cause problems later, but that was what City needed to get started. There was more than a little bit of uncertainty inside the club when, for example, just weeks after his appointment, he vowed to demolish the ’34-year-old’ style banner in Stretford End which was recording the length of their rivals. “Long drought of trophies. It was bold, but he ultimately kept his promise and only allowed one more year.
Andrew GambleJune 11, 2021 12:48
Opportunity for Locatelli to impress
According to Sky Sport Italia, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and PSG are keeping a close watch on Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli, who will start for Italy against Turkey tonight.
The Neroverdis want at least € 40million to sell him – and that price could rise in the near future if the 23-year-old impresses at Euro.
Locatelli is set to start with Nicolò Barella and Jorginho in Italy’s midfield against Turkey tonight.
The Azzurri are without an injured Marco Verratti, who is expected to recover for the second game of the group stage, while Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini has been excluded from the competition due to a muscle injury and replaced by Gaetano Castrovilli of the Fiorentina.
Andrew GambleJune 11, 2021 12:40