UEFA Euro 2020, Turkey vs Italy: Decoding the key statistics
The European Championships will be starting tonight with Turkey taking on an in-form Italy in a crucial Group A encounter at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Italy have sealed eight successive wins without conceding and are on a 27-game unbeaten run (W22 D5). Turkey will be aiming to surprise the Azzurri and make an impact. Ahead of a crunch encounter, here's the statistical preview.
Roberto Mancini has been superb as Italy's manager, helping them secure qualification for the Euro 2020, besides helping the team reach the UEFA Nations League Finals. Under Mancini, Italy are also unbeaten in the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers. Meanwhile, under manager Senoi Gunes, Turkey have proved to be strong. They have lost just thrice in 26 games since Gunes was reappointed as manager.
Paris Saint-German mid-fielder Marco Verratti will miss the opener with an injury. The much-admired Marco Locatelli will start in his place. Italy suffered another blow as Roma's playmaker Lorenzo Pellegrini was ruled out of the tournament this week with a muscle issue. For Turkey, Burak Yilmaz will lead the line. AC Milan's Hakan Calhanoglu is another prime asset. Cengiz Under can get his chance.
Turkey have never managed to beat Italy, losing seven of the 10 encounters. The two most recent fixtures (friendlies) in 2002 and 2006, ended in 1-1 draws. The two sides have met just once at a major tournament. They met 21 years ago at the Euro 2000 when the Azzurri won 2-1.
Turkey have lost their opening game at all four of their previous Euro appearances. As per Opta, Turkey's squad has an average age of 24 days and 352 days, the lowest of any side at the Euro 2020 Championships. Turkey haven't conceded a single goal from open play in Euro 2020 qualifying. Notably, Turkey have netted 14 goals in six matches this calendar year.
Italy's 27-game unbeaten run is their second-longest sequence. They need three successive wins to match their record winning streak of 11 games under Mancini in 2019. As per Opta, despite playing 38 matches at the Euros, the Italians have never scored more than twice in a single game. They also hold the record for most goalless draws at the tournament (8).
The match is set to start at 12:30 AM IST and will be telecast live on the Sony Ten Network. One can stream the match on the SonyLIV app as well (paid subscription).