A year after it was originally supposed to go down, Roberto Mancini and his Italy squad full of talent is set to open up Euro 2020. It’s 2021 now and the world is still very much in a pandemic, but Italy and Turkey — each with Juventus representation — will take the field tonight at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome to open up the much-anticipated tournament.
Away we go.
It’s time to boogie.
A lot has happened in the five years since there was a European Championship tournament. Last we saw Italy in a major tournament, Antonio Conte was screaming his head off on the sideline and leading Italy to the Euro 2016 quarterfinals. We won’t get into what happened in that game because it will bring back some frustrating and sad memories, but I think it’s safe to say that this Italy squad has visions of going beyond the quarterfinals in this tournament.
And, as you probably have noticed, they’re being tipped as a team that can potentially win the whole thing if things go their way.
Can they actually do it? Well, we’ll know a few weeks from now.
But with a lengthy unbeaten streak that spans 27 matches and over the course of 2 1⁄2 years, Mancini’s squad has plenty of wind in their sails entering the delayed Euros. And they will be hoping that playing on their home turf to open things up — the first time Italy has played in European Championship’s opening game since 1988, a game in which Mancini scored in — will be the thing that keeps that unbeaten run going and gets their tournament off on the right foot.
When: Friday, June 11, 2021
Where: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy
Official kickoff time: 9 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 8 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 3 p.m. Eastern Time; 12 p.m. Pacific Time
Italy starting XI (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Florenzi, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Locatelli; Berardi, Immobile, Insigne
Italy bench: Sirigu, Meret, Di Lorenzo, Belotti, Pessina, Emerson, Chiesa, Acerbi, Cristante, Bernardeschi, Raspadori, Bastoni
Turkey starting XI (4-5-1): Cakir; Celik, Demiral, Soyuncu, Meras; Karaman, Tufan, Yokuslu, Yazici, Calhanoglu; Yilmaz
Turkey bench: Gunok, Bayindir, Under, Tokoz, Antalyali, Kabak, Unal, Kokcu, Can Kahveci, Ayhan, Muldur, Dervisoglu
HOW TO WATCH
Television: ESPN, TUDN USA (United States); TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5 (Canada); BBC One (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Uno, Sky Sport Football, Sky Sport Arena, RAI 1 (Italy)
Online/mobile: WatchESPN, TUDN,com, TUDN app, Univision NOW (United States); TSN.com, TSN app (Canada); BBC iPlayer (United Kingdom); SKY Go Italia, RaiPlay, NOW TV (Italy)
Other live viewing options can be found here, and as always, you can also follow along with us live and all the stupid things we say on Twitter. If you haven’t already, join the community on Black & White & Read All Over, and join in the discussion below.