Wales brace for a hostile reception when they face Turkey in Baku at Euro 2020, while rejuvenated Italy can seal their place in the round of 16 with a win over Switzerland.
After a 1-1 draw against the Swiss in their Group A opener, Wales play in the capital of Azerbaijan, locals are expected to support their Turkish neighbors, who will also have several thousand traveling supporters by their side.
Welsh captain Gareth Bale, who has had a dizzying run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals, said he was not taken aback by the prospect of an aggressive atmosphere.
“Hostility is not a problem,” said the Real Madrid forward. “This is what we do for a living. We are used to playing outside and being in the face of hostile crowds. “
Turkey are desperate to shake off the disappointment of losing 3-0 to Italy in the tournament opener.
“During the two days following the match, we were very fragile, we were very broken. We were really tired and negative, ”said Turkish captain Burak Yilmaz.
“It will be like a host city for us. With the help of the country, we want to win this game. “
Roberto Mancini’s Italy were impressive on their first outing and, with a home advantage in Rome, will be confident to advance to the knockout stage.
The 1968 European Champions, in a 28-game unbeaten streak, have a rich international pedigree and are desperate to atone for the humiliation of not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
“The strength of this Italy? It’s the squad, ”said forward Lorenzo Insigne.
# photo1 ″ The coach has created a large group. No one is guaranteed a place.
“Whoever plays knows what we have to do, put ourselves at the service of each other. “
In the first game of the day, Russia welcome their Finnish neighbors to St. Petersburg in search of their first points in Group B.
– Germany under pressure –
On Tuesday, a homeward goal of Mats Hummels was enough for 2018 World Cup-winning France to beat Germany 1-0 in a successful Group F game in Munich on Tuesday.
France deserved the win, with Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema denied goals in the second half for offside while Adrien Rabiot also hit the post for the Blues.
“It’s our first match, but it’s a match that could have been a semi-final or a final and taking those three points in a group like this was important,” French coach Didier Deschamps said on M6. .
# photo2Germany’s opening loss in the ‘Group of Death’ puts pressure on coach Joachim Loew, who is leading a tournament for the last time.
The three-time winners are haunted by the end of their World Cup squad in Russia, but face a difficult task, with matches to come against Portugal and Hungary.
“It’s up to us to turn things up in the next couple of days,” Loew said. “We have to look to improve, because we need a goal or two. “
Germany’s next game will be against Euro 2016 winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who got off to a perfect start, beating Hungary 3-0 in Budapest.
Ronaldo marked the occasion by scoring his 10th and 11th European Championship goals, surpassing the record of nine he shared with French legend Michel Platini.
The 36-year-old Juventus forward has now scored in five different European Championship finals and has 106 goals for his country, leaving him just three goals to tie the 109-goal record for the Iranian Ali Daei.
In Munich, tragedy was narrowly averted before the game against Germany when a Greenpeace activist crashed onto the pitch after his powered parachute microlight struck spidercam cables.
The pilot flew over the field with the inscription “Kick out oil” on the canopy of his parachute, but he struck television cables above the field, this unbalanced his microlight and he landed on the grass after having cut one of the stands.
“This reckless act (…) caused injuries to several people attending the match who are currently hospitalized and the judicial authorities will take the necessary measures,” said European football governing body UEFA.
Greenpeace apologized for the protest gone awry, saying the aim was for the activist to drop a latex ball with a protest message on the pitch.
© 2021 AFP