Fans across Europe can finally get their football party started as the delayed Euro 2020 tournament kicks off on Friday night.
Italy and Turkey bring the curtain up on the competition, five years after Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal lifted the trophy in Paris.
Uefa bigwigs have pulled out all the stops to ensure the long-since planned extravaganza across the whole continent goes ahead with as much normality as possible, in spite of the lingering Covid-19 pandemic.
And it’s the much-fancied Azzurri who will have a taste of home as they tackle their Group A opponents in Rome, ahead of a frenzy of weekend fixtures.
Group A: Turkey vs Italy
Italy kick off their Euro 2020 campaign on Friday night when they face Turkey in Group A at the Stadio Olimpico.
Many are betting on the Azzurri to go all the way in a competition they’ve won only once, also on home turf back in 1968.
And they have the form under coach Roberto Mancini, having blazed a trail through qualifying with ten wins from ten.
Turkey also made it safely through qualifying behind World Cup winners France, even sticking a 2-0 win on the global champions in the process.
They’re out to replicate their semi-final efforts of 2008, having failed to make it out of the group stage in 2016.
Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are expected to form an imposing defensive pairing for them to have to break down, ahead of hotshot keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Only Marco Verratti looks to be a doubt for Mancini, with the midfielder on his way back from injury.
Burak Yilmaz spearheads the Turkish hopes, while the likes of Hakan Calhanoglu and Merih Demiral know all about the Italian way thanks to their spells in Serie A.
Probable Turkey Starting XI: Ugurcan Cakir, Mehmet Zeki Celik, Merih Demiral, Caglar Soyuncu, Umut Meras, Yusuf Yazici, Ozan Tufan, Okay Yokuslu, Hakan Calhanoglu, Kenan Karaman, Burak Yilmaz.
Probable Italy Starting XI: Gianluigi Donnarumma, Alessandro Florenzi, Leandro Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Spinazzola, Manuel Locatelli, Jorginho, Nicolo Barella, Domenico Berardi, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne.
Euro 2020 predictions for 11 June
Prediction methodology explained: The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing.