Friday, 11 June 2021

EURO 2020: Match Preview: Turkey v Italy

 


Turkey and Italy’s only previous encounter in a major tournament was at UEFA Euro 2000, also on 11th June. It was their opening game of the tournament, ending 2-1 to Italy courtesy of goals from Antonio Conte and a penalty from Filippo Inzaghi. It was also in that game that Okan Buruk scored Turkey’s first ever goal in the European Championships.

Italy have never lost at the Stadio Olimpico in a major tournament, World Cup and Euro combined (W6 D2). They also haven’t conceded a single goal in each of those last seven games.

Turkey are taking part in their fifth European Championship finals, with their best result being a semi-final in 2008 – it’s only the second time they have reached the tournament in consecutive editions after 1996 and 2000.

Turkey have lost all four of their opening games at Euro finals – this includes their opening match against Italy in the 2000 tournament (1-2).

Italy are taking part in their 10th European Championship finals – they won the tournament in their first appearance (1968) and have since reached the final twice without getting their hands on the Henri Delaunay trophy (2000, 2012).

Turkey have kept only one clean sheet in their last 10 games at major tournaments (World Cup + European Championships), though it came in a 2-0 win against Czech Republic in their last match at Euro 2016 in the group stages.

Despite playing 38 games in the European Championships, Italy have never scored more than two goals in a match. They have also drawn more games than any other side in the tournament’s history (16), whilst also recording the most nil-nil matches (8).

Italy were one of only two teams – alongside Belgium – to win 100% of their games in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying campaign (10/10). They scored 37 goals in their 10 qualification matches (3.7 per game); this was the same tally as they scored in qualification for Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018 combined (37 goals in 22 games).

Turkey conceded only three goals in 10 games in the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, the joint-best defensive record alongside Belgium.

This will be Senol Gunes’ second major tournament as Turkey head-coach (World Cup + European Championships), 18 years after leading his nation to a third place at the 2002 World Cup, their best-ever performance in the competition.This is Roberto Mancini’s first major tournament as Italy head coach (World Cup + European Championships). As a player, he only featured at one major finals – playing four games at Euro ‘88 – scoring the opening goal of the whole tournament during a 1-1 draw with hosts West Germany.




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