Pre-match omens: Turkey
Turkey will be looking to break an unwanted run against Italy, who have been something of a nemesis over the years.
Turkey have never beaten the Azzurri, but have only encountered Italy once in a major tournament.
They’ll also be looking to end another negative stat, with Turkey’s four previous opening games at European Championships all ending in defeat.
Will that run continue tonight, or can Senol Gunes’ side start a new era with an historic victory?
7:00pm: The teams are in!
Much will be expected of Lille’s veteran striker Burak Yilmaz up front for Turkey, who will operate in a lone striker role after injury ruled Cenk Tosun out of the tournament.
Italy, meanwhile, have selected a pair of attacking full-backs to give extra impetus to the side moving forward, while Manuel Locatelli deputises for the injured Marco Verratti in midfield.
TURKEY (4-1-4-1): Cakir; Zeki Celik, Demiral, Soyuncu, Meras; Yokuslu; Karaman, Tufan, Yazizi, Calhanoglu; Yilmaz
ITALY (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Florenzi, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Locatelli; Berardi, Immobile, Insigne
6:20pm: Turkey’s head coach Senol Gunes says he hopes his side can “cause confusion” from the very start of the tournament by upsetting the Group A favourites.
“The result we get in the first match is important; a draw or a win can cause confusion in the group,” he told UEFA.com
“I hope so. I want to see our strength in the first match; even if we lose, it’s important to play well.
“I hope it’s going to be a great game, an enjoyable game, and that we win!”
His opposite number, former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, was typically cagey ahead of the opening match of the tournament, but he said he wanted his team to play without pressure as their campaign gets underway with many fancying the Azzurri to go a long way in the tournament.
“We must respect Turkey, they are a side full of talent,” he said.
“The opener is always difficult, and there will be plenty of emotions, but you can’t get too carried away.
“I don’t think there is an excess of enthusiasm. The fans can have that; we know who we are up against.
“The desire to be protagonists at this Euro is huge but this is a match to be played with lightheartedness. We can do it!”
6:08am: Tonight’s matchup will feature two teams in excellent form. Turkey are unbeaten from their last six outings, having won four and drawn two of their recent fixtures.
Italy, however, are in ominously strong form heading into the tournament. They’ve won each of their last eight matches, and will be hoping to kick off their Euro 2020 campaign with a ninth straight win tonight.
6:00pm: Good evening, and welcome to Express Sport’s live coverage of the opening match of Euro 2020, as Turkey take on Italy in Rome.
Per the draw, Turkey are technically the “home” side, but it’s Italy who will be playing on home soil, with the match taking place at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
We’ll bring you live updates throughout the night as we bring you the first night of 30 glorious days of top-level international football.
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed