Italy will be the side to kick off the long-awaited 2020 European Championship on Friday evening, taking on Turkey at Roma and Lazio’s Stadio Olimpico.
The stadium has been decked out in UEFA branding ready for the eyes of the continent to see if the Azzurri can lay a marker down with a convincing win over a Turkey side with high hopes for themselves.
A familiar place in unfamiliar clothes…
We’ll be hearing from Roberto Mancini shortly pic.twitter.com/sBtSfSFoca
— Alasdair Mackenzie (@aksmackenzie) June 10, 2021
When is each of Italy’s Group A fixtures?
The first game is of course against Turkey on Friday, June 11. The match kicks off in Rome at 21:00 CEST, with Andrea Bocelli performing a rendition of Nessun Dorma to whip up some national spirit.
Italy’s second game of the group will be in Rome again, as they take on Switzerland at 21:00 CEST. That game is on Wednesday, June 16.
The final game in Rome is against Wales and Italy will hope they don’t need a result to qualify as they head into the final game. That match is on Sunday, June 20, kicking off at 18:00 CEST.
Wales, Turkey and Switzerland players to watch
The biggest global name that Italy will be facing is of course Wales’ Gareth Bale. The powerful forward has spent a year on loan at Tottenham Hotspur this season after his relationships at Real Madrid deteriorated. He often seems to refind his best form whilst playing for the national team. Juventus’ Aaron Ramsey and Manchester United’s Dan James will both be featuring for the Welsh too.
As for Turkey, Calcio fans will be familiar with the work of Milan forward Hakan Calhanoglu. He’s a key creative outlet for Turkey, who could surprise many with their quality. Leicester City’s Caglar Soyuncu and Juve’s Mehri Demiral will likely be the centre-back partnership, with Ligue 1 winning Burak Yilmaz upfront.
As for Switzerland, the biggest name in the squad for years has been Xherdan Shaqiri. Whilst never being a key player, he has been at Liverpool since 2018. Potential new Roma signing Granit Xhaka will also be in the midfield, along with Atalanta’s Remo Freuler.