The EURO 2020 carnival begins on Friday night with Italy hosting Turkey. The tournament will take place with several restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic. Italy has come into this tournament with not much spotlight on them due to their recent failures at major tournaments. However, they do possess a talented squad and a good manager in Roberto Mancini. In this article, we will take a look at Italy’s playing XI and tactics vs Turkey.
Italy are in red hot form as they have not lost a game since 2018. But they have also played against several weak teams, with only England and Netherlands being significant opposition.
Turkey have three solid central defenders in Caglar Soyuncu, Merih Demiral and Ozan Kabak. However, only two of them are likely to start as Turkey have preferred a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2 formation in recent games. Turkey’s biggest strength is their AC Milan playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu, who can be unstoppable on his day. Cengiz Under’s pace and Yilmaz’s finishing skills make them “dark horses” for the tournament.
Italy’s playing XI
Goalkeeper : Gianluigi Donnarumma
Donnarumma is among the world’s best when it comes to shot-stopping and had a fine season with AC Milan. However, this is his first major tournament and even the best can commit a few mistakes under pressure.
Defenders : Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Spinnazola
The center-back pairing of Bonucci and Chiellini are the most experienced duo in Italy’s playing XI. But recent Juventus’ games are proof that both can be caught out by pace and strength. Di Lorenzo is a solid option at right-back but he is certainly not among the world’s best.
Leonardo Spinnazola is a good crosser of the ball but his defensive abilities have often come into question. With Bonucci and Chiellini not being the fastest across the ground, Spinnazola might have to check his forward runs.
Midfielders : Marco Verratti, Jorginho and Nicolo Barella
Italy’s recent success can be attributed to their midfield trio who offer control and creativity at the same time. Jorginho can be very effective with his distribution but his defensive game still needs improvement. Nicolo Barella has finally looked free from injuries and is one of Inter Milan’s best players.
Barella offers endless energy and well-calculated forward runs from midfield. The best of the lot is Marco Verratti but fitness has always been an issue for the PSG mainstay. When he is fit and playing well, Verratti can offer complete control with his accurate and efficient passing.
Roma’s Pellegrini could come from the bench and has the creative ability to change a game. Atalanta’s Matteo Pessina is versatile and can play a number of roles as a substitute.
Forwards : Lorenzo Insigne, Ciro Immobile, Domenico Berardi
It is unthinkable to see Chiesa benched after his outstanding performances with Juventus. But Chiesa’s favorite left-wing position is occupied by the brilliant Insigne who himself had a terrific campaign with Napoli. Insigne has the experience, creativity and composure to play and succeed at the highest level.
Ciro Immobile’s accolades with Lazio is well known but he has not replicated his club form for the country. Immobile is, without doubt, one of the best finishers in the tournament and his link-up play with Insigne could be a headache for opponents.
Berardi gets a spot in Italy’s playing XI due to his tally of 17 goals and seven assists in Serie A while playing just 28 games. He offers variety with his left foot and can shoot effectively from long range.