Turkey vs ItalyEuro 2020, KO: 20:00 Jun 11, 2021, Stadio Olimpico
ITALY didn't put a foot wrong in Euro 2020 qualifying but their opening clash with Turkey at the finals will give us a better indication of whether their status as dark horses for glory is justified.
After the misery of missing out on the World Cup for the first time in 60 years, the Azzurri have been reborn under Roberto Mancini and look like a genuine force again.
They breezed through Euro qualifying, albeit in a weak group, winning all 10 games while scoring 37 goals and conceding just four. That momentum has continued in warm-up games for the finals, most notably with a 4-0 thrashing of the Czech Republic.
The Italians are just 4/7 with most firms to top Group A at Euro 2020 but face arguably their toughest game in the opener.
Turkey finished just two points behind world champions France in qualifying, losing only once, and have claimed some big scalps in recent years.
They beat Holland 4-2 in World Cup qualifying and followed it up with a 3-0 win in Norway, although a subsequent 3-3 draw at home to Latvia shows the Turks remain incosistent.
I fancy them to qualify from Group A (4/6, Betfred) but facing the Italians in Rome could be a bridge too far in the opener.
How the bookies view it
Turkey have been written off for a win in Rome and SBK make them 8/1 outsiders, a price that will attract a bit of interest. The Italians are a best 8/15 at Unibet while the stalemate pays 3/1 at Bet365.
Head to head
Italy have been something of a bogey team for the Turks who have never beaten them across 11 meetings. But they have claimed three draws, including 1-1 stalemates in the last two friendly clashes.
These sides also met in the Euro 2000 group opener, with Italy winning 2-1 in Arnhem (below) before both teams qualified from the section.
Players to watch
It's hard to look past Ciro Immobile (below) for an Italy goal as he has been one of Europe's deadliest hitmen for the past couple of seasons. The Lazio striker has netted 28 times this season and scored in the warm-up win over the Czechs. He's a best 13/8 at BetVictor for anytime scorer.
Burak Yilmaz should lead the line for Turkey and will be on a high after firing Lille to title glory in France. He hit a hat-trick in the impressive win over the Dutch and also scored against Moldova in a warm-up game so looks overpriced at 17/4 with Betway for a goal.
William Hill have a requested bet for Immobile and Yilmaz to have over two shots on target combined and it's decent for accumulators at 4/6.
Anything else catch the eye?
Turkey's competitive games have been thrillers of late, with 15 goals scored across their first three World Cup qualifiers. They also drew 3-3 with Germany and Croatia in friendlies so it bodes well for an open game.
Going for goals paid off for our man Tolu when Turkey beat the Dutch and it could yield a profit here too. I'm surprised to see both teams to score as big as 17/11 with SportNation and that looks great value, even though Italy have home advantage.
Over 2.5 goals also appeals at 7/5 with Unibet, although opening games at big tournaments can sometimes be an anti-climax.
Turkey always get stuck in and they collected six yellows in their win over the Netherlands then three more in the draw with Latvia. They are 8/13 with Betway to pick up the first booking, which is worth considering for accas, while over 4.5 match cards pays 13/10 at the same firm.
This Euro 2020 match between Turkey and Italy will be played on Jun 11, 2021 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Turkey vs Italy prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.