Friday’s game will mark the sixth time the Azzurri and Crescent-Stars have met at a World Cup or Euro and the third time the pair have taken the field at Euro. If history is any indicator, it could be a long night for the Senol Gunes men on Friday. Turkey have never beaten Italy, neither in competitive matches nor in friendlies. In 11 matches, the Azzurri have eight wins and three draws.
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The most recent match between these two teams at Euro was in 2000, the year Italy finished second, losing 2-1 to France in overtime in what was a classic all-round final. time.
Like Friday, the match in 2000 was the opening match for each team in this Euro. Then-Juventus midfielder Antonio Conte opened the scoring with a magnificent over-the-header kick in the 53rd minute after the Turkish baseline scrambled a clearance. Just over 10 minutes later, Galatasaray midfielder Okan Buruk equalized with a header on a free kick from Gala teammate Sergen Yalcin.
But the Azzurri would have the last word. In the 70th minute, Turkish captain Ogun Temizkanoglu eliminated Pippo Inzaghi from the ball into the area for a clear penalty. The No. 9 Azzurri and Juve striker made no mistake, hammering under a Rustu Recber dive to give Italy the 2-1 victory.
Italy is on a roll
As for Friday’s game, Gunes is well aware that his team is up against a team from Azzurri who has not lost a game since 2018 and has not even conceded a goal in 2021. He calls for the urgency of its charges.
“The result we get in the first game is important; a draw or a win can confuse the squad, ”said Gunes. ” I hope so. I want to see our strength in the first game; even if we lose, it’s important to play well. Participating in the Euro is a success, but it cannot stop there. “
Azzurri manager Roberto Mancini praised his opponents on Friday and knows that while his side have played in recent months there will be no layup in this tournament.
“Turkey are a strong team because their players are good technically and physically strong,” said Mancini. “They have improved a lot. It will be the same against [other Group A opponents] Switzerland and Wales. This group is pretty tough. You are unlikely to find weak teams in a competition like this. “
ITALY POTENTIAL XI: Donnarumma, Florenzi, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson, Barella, Jorginho, Locatelli, Église, Insigne, Immobile
POTENTIAL TURKEY XI: Cakir, Celik, Demiral, Soyuncu, Meras, Yokuslu, Under, Tufan, Calhanoglu, Yazici, Yilmaz