Turkey take on Italy on Friday night at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome as they kick off the 2020 European Championships.
Tom Pearce, OUFC Picks Predictor (@tompearce97)
This will be the 12th meeting between the two nations, with the first coming in the Euros in 1962, with The Azzuri coming out 6-0 winners.
Turkey have actually never beaten Friday’s opponents, losing on eight occasions whilst drawing on three.
It’s been a while since the two sides last met, as they came up against eachother in a friendly in 2006.
Both sides will be looking to get their tournament off to a strong start, but how will Friday’s game play out?
Turkey come into this game after completing their preparation with a 2-0 win at home to Moldova last Thursday.
A few days prior to that they drew 0-0 at home to Guinea, however, you can’t read too much into these friendlies.
Meanwhile, a convincing 4-0 win at home to the Czech Republic last week for Italy will have gave them confidence entering the tournament.
Our Picks For OUFC Picks – Turkey v Italy
1. Will Italy beat Turkey? No
The first game is going to be a nervy one for both teams as they will both be looking to get off to a good start and won’t want to lose.
The Azzuri are in great form under Roberto Mancini as well, having gone defeated in their last 26 matches.
They could be a dark horse this tournament with a great mixture of great players, but Turkey will not be an easy game.
In fact, no team conceded fewer goals than Turkey in qualification (three), and with the likes of Caglar Soyuncu, Ozan Kabak and Merih Demiral at the back, they will not be easy to break down.
2. Will Ciro Immobile score? Yes
The Italian had another strong season in the Seria A this campaign, notching 20 times in 34 starts.
He also has a very good recent record for his national team, scoring six in his last seven matches, which shows he’s in red hot form.
Mancini’s side will need something special to break down the Turkish defence, but you wouldn’t put it past Immobile to being in the right place at the right time.
3. How many goals will Italy score? 1
As previously mentioned, it will not be easy to break down a resolute Turkey backline, however, it will be surprising to see Italy shoot a blank.
That’s due to the fact that Turkey have only managed to keep one clean sheet in their last 10 games at major tournaments.
The Azzuri don’t tend to score many goals either, in fact, they have never scored more than two goals in a Euros match.
4. How many saves will Turkey goalkeepers make? 4+
In their last 10 competitive games, Turkey have faced 38 shots on target against, with their ‘keepers making 30 saves.
That means they are currently averaging three saves per 90 minutes.
On the other hand, in Italy’s last 10 competitve matches, they have had 204 attempts on goal.
From those attempts, they tested opposition goalkeepers on 80 occasions, averaging eight shots on target per game.
5. How many goals will Italy concede? 1
Italy are in very good form and have kept seven clean sheets on the bounce, and whilst their opponents don’t have the attacking talent we’ve seen in Turkey teams of old, you certainly can’t write them off.
With the likes of Burak Yilmaz, who fired Lille to the Ligue 1 title, Hakan Calhanoglu and Cengiz Under, they are a danger coming forward.
Under Mancini, Italy don’t play with the old mantra of defend first, score second as they play more attacking football.
With that comes more defensive vulnerability, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see their defence breached.
6. How many shots on target will Turkey have? 3
Turkey had 17 shots in their last competitive game, testing the Latvia keeper on eight occasions.
From their last 10 matches, they have hit the target 49 times. That’s an average of 4.9 shots on goal per game.
Meanwhile, Gianluigi Donnarumma who is usually between the sticks for Italy, has faced 25 attempts on his goal.
That’s an average of 2.5 shots on target against per game.
- How many corners will Italy be awarded? 4+
- How many shots on target will Italy have? 4+
- Will Turkey score in the second half? No
- How many tackles will Ozan Kabak make? 1
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