After a year of delay, the Euros kick off on Friday at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome with Group A favorites Italy, welcoming an upstart Turkish side that many experts consider a dark horse this summer.
Italy enter the Euro on a 27-game unbeaten streak that dates back to a Nations League loss to reigning European champions Portugal in September 2018. As impressive as they are, the Azzurri n ‘have faced no team sharing a prominent international position other than the Netherlands and will arrive at Euro with a lot of pressure to avenge the national embarrassment of missing the 2018 World Cup.
Led by former Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini, Italy will sweat over the fitness of PSG teammates Alessandro Florenzi and Marco Verratti, with Inter Milan midfielder Stefano Sensi already being excluded from the tournament due to a wound.
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Turkey also remained unbeaten in six matches in 2021, including a massive victory over the Netherlands to open the World Cup qualifiers. The Turkish team is led by striker Burak Yılmaz, who has just helped Lille to a shock Ligue 1 title with 16 goals.
After the opener in Rome, Turkey will make Baku, Azerbaijan a home base with big games against Wales and Switzerland to close the group stage. Meanwhile, Italy will remain in Rome for the remainder of the group stage.
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