Turkey vs Italy: Two dark horses clash in Euro 2020 opener

A total of 364 days after the original start date for Euro 2020, the continent’s biggest soccer tournament is finally set to get underway.

When: Friday, June 10, 20:00 BST

How to watch: BBC One

Follow this game live via our score centre

Best Bets

Draw at 14/5

Both teams to score at 7/5

Burak Yilmaz and Ciro Immobile both to score at 9/1

The opening match of these European Championships is expected to be an absolute belter. Both Italy and Turkey are regarded as dark horses in this tournament and both will fancy their chances on Friday night.

As things stand, the Italians are fourth favourites - at 15/2 - to lift the Henri Delaunay trophy. That comes as little surprise considering Roberto Mancini's side are unbeaten in 27 games.

Their last defeat came all the way back in 2018 when they were beaten 1-0 by Portugal in the UEFA Nations League. Since then, Italy have won 22 of their 27 games and have only conceded seven goals during that time.

A record like that would certainly intimidate most nations but is Turkey one of them? Unlikely.

Turkey are 50/1 to win the Euros
Turkey are 50/1 to win the Euros

Senol Gunes’ side are also coming into the tournament in good form with recent wins over Russia, Norway and the Netherlands.

What's more, they boast an impressive squad which includes the likes of Merih Demiral (Juventus), Ozan Kabak (Liverpool), Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester), Hakan Calhanoglu (AC Milan) and star striker Burak Yilmaz (Lille).

Last Three Matches

Italy 1-1 Turkey (Friendly - November 15, 2006)

In order to find the last head-to-head clash between these two nations you have to wind the clock back to 2006.

Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia in Bergamo played host to an international friendly as the newly crowned world champions looked to keep up their momentum.

Antonio Di Natale put the Italians in-front after a horrendous error from the Turkish goalkeeper, Rustu Recber.

Nevertheless, Turkey managed to find the equaliser courtesy of Marco Materazzi's own goal, just minutes before the half-time whistle.

Italy 1-1 Turkey (Friendly - November 20, 2002)

As Italy looked to rebuild from the disappointment of the 2002 World Cup, they took on Turkey in an international friendly in Pescara.

It was the visitors who took the lead when Belozoglu Emre bagged the opener in the 28th minute.

However, Italy managed to hit back before the break with Christian Vieri scoring the equaliser ten minutes later.

Turkey 1-2 Italy (European Championships - June 11, 2000)

In their last competitive fixture, it was Italy who ran out victorious.

Antonio Conte opened the scoring in the 52nd minute as the Italians made the perfect start towards their Euro 2000 campaign.

Okan Buruk equalised for Turkey ten minutes later but there was more drama ahead.

Filippo Inzaghi converted a late penalty for the Italians who took the three points en route to winning their group.

Last seven head-to-heads

Turkey wins: 0

Draws: 3

Italy wins: 4

Turkey goals: 3

Italy goals: 12

Italy's first major tournament in five years

Failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup was a matter of national embarrassment for the Italians.

Six months after missing out on a ticket to Russia, Roberto Mancini became the manager of the national team.

Italy boss, Roberto Mancini
Italy boss, Roberto Mancini

It was at that point when their journey to Euro 2020 began. In a short few years Mancini has turned a team in disarray into one that is feared around the globe.

Italy may not have the star power of old but as a unit, they will pose a serious threat to Turkey in the tournament's opener.

Turkey capable of breaking Italy's defence

Italy's recent record is impeccable. As previously mentioned, Mancini's men are in the midst of an incredible 27-match unbeaten run. What's more, they haven't conceded a goal in eight straight games.

While this is undoubtedly a spectacular record, there are still question marks - mainly over the quality of opposition they played.

Turkey manager, Senol Gunes
Turkey manager, Senol Gunes

With the exception of Poland, none of their last eight opponents are placed higher than 40th in FIFA's world rankings.

Turkey, with Burak Yilmaz at the forefront, will be looking to test that Italian defence and find out whether the hype around them is warranted.

Goalscorer bets

There are two main protagonists when looking at the goalscorer market.

The aforementioned Yilmaz is certainly one of them. The Turkish captain won the Ligue 1 title with Lille this season and has scored six goals in his last six games.

Lazio forward, Ciro Immobile
Lazio forward, Ciro Immobile

On the other hand, Cico Immobile is the main goalscoring threat for the Italians. The Lazio man has scored three goals in his last four appearances for the national side.

Bearing this in mind, it's worth taking a chance on both Yilmaz and Immobile to get on the scoresheet at the current price of 9/1.

READ MORE: Lille trio can help Turkey run Italy close in Group A