After five long years, the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament is finally here. The pandemic caused the tournament to be postponed for twelve months, but the highly anticipated tournament between Europe’s elite will begin on Saturday. Eleven cities in eleven different countries will host the tournament to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Euros.
Here are The Wolf’s tips for the opening fixture.
The tournament kicks off with an enticing Group A matchup between Turkey and Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Italy come into the tournament as one of the most hyped teams, having gone unbeaten in their last 27 matches. After the horror of missing the 2018 World Cup, Roberto Mancini has his side firing and they look destined for a deep run. Meanwhile, Turkey have arguably their most talented squad ever and are a great chance to get out of Group A.
Italy’s balance between youth and experience should hold them in good stead and they’ve got great depth all over the field. The Azzurri’s biggest strength in this matchup is their midfield, with Jorginho, Federico Bernardeschi and Marco Verratti giving them great control and serious goal-scoring threats.
Whilst Turkey will be solid at the back with the likes of Ozan Kabak, Merih Demiral and Caglar Soyuncu, they don’t have the attacking threats that Italy possesses.
With Ciro Immobile coming off another excellent Serie A season with 20 goals and 6 assists, and Federico Chiesa and Lorenzo Insigne out on the wings, Italy will have enough attacking power to get past this tough Turkish defence. Italy have never lost to Turkey and at home, that record will continue.
Both Turkey and Italy have played in high scoring clashes in the last twelve months.
Italy have scored 25 goals from their last eight games, whilst eight of Turkey’s last twelve matches have seen three or more goals scored in them.
The Azzurri play a ruthless brand of football under Roberto Mancini and they tend to play consistently across the full 90 minutes. Immobile, Insigne, Berardi and Belotti were all ranked in the top thirteen for goal scorers in the Serie A this season, so the Azzurri have plenty of avenues to goal.
That firepower has been demonstrated with 4-0 and 7-0 wins in their last two games in the lead up to this tournament.
The under 2.5 goal market will be favoured given opening games tend to be cagey affairs, but with the attacking form of both teams, the value in the over 2.5 goals market looks excellent.