Turkey vs Italy
Group A – Stadio Olimpico, Rome
It’s been a long time coming for the tournament to get underway, but it finally does on Friday as Turkey take on Italy in the opening game of Euro 2020.
Turkey come into this one on the back of 6 games unbeaten, beating the likes of Netherlands and Norway along the way which is impressive. LIlle’s player of the season Burak Yilmaz will likely lead the line for Turkey, while it’ll be down to Hakan Calhanoglu to provide the goods for the team. Another key player will be Caglar Soyuncu at the back, but they do have quality all over the pitch, impressing in recent fixtures. A good result could set them on course to qualify here if they are to get it, with Wales and Switzerland to come.
Italy has been impressive ever since Roberto Mancini walked through the door. The manager has overseen his side into a 27 game unbeaten run. They’ve also won their last 7 games on the bounce without conceding a single goal. They come into this one with a lot of confidence, and playing in Italy with fans will be another added plus. The team has always been so strong defensively, but now they don’t lack in attack with Ciro Immobile, Andrea Belotti and Federico Chiesa who bring a lot of goals. They’ll fancy picking up the win here.
Wales vs Switzerland
Group A – Baku Olympic Stadium, Azerbaijan
Gareth Bale will lead the Wales team out once again to a major European competition, and that is something that should be celebrated on its own. They’ve been fantastic over the last few years, always grinding out results when they’re expected to show up and lose, and they could be a surprise here again. The only issues will be around major players like Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey who haven’t played a lot of football this season, but they still have the talent that is capable of producing. It’ll be a tough game against a good Switzerland side, but wouldn’t be a surprise if Wales get a good result.
Switzerland is a team that seems to impress again and again. On a run of 6 straight wins, they should be confident they can win here against a Wales team that haven’t shown what they’re truly capable of in recent games. It’s a different story when it comes to the Euros though and anything can happen, but the Swiss have enough to get a victory. They have a good well rounded team with quality in every position and players that have a lot of ability. They have pace and power and they won’t be coming here just to make up the numbers.
Denmark vs Finland
Group B – Parken Stadium, Copenhagen
Denmark come into this European championship almost 30 years on from their famous win of the tournament, and they could be a potential dark horse in this one. They have a squad that isn’t blessed with superstar names, but a team that works well together. They’re a team that has spent a lot of time through the years together and they’re a good collective unit. Their only defeats since 2018 have been two games against Belgium, and that is remarkable. They’ll be heavily favourites here to beat Finland when the two meet in Denmark.
Finland’s long awaited debut into the Euros is finally here, and what a fantastic achievement it has been to reach Euro 2020 for the team and the country. Teemu Pukki has to be mentioned as the main man behind the accomplishment, but a lot of Finland’s defensive work was overlooked in the run to qualify here. Things aren’t the greatest at the moment though with no win in their last 6 games, and in an extremely tough group, it could be that Finland are here simply for the experience.