Senol Gunes, Turkey
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Emre Sarigul’s Turkey v Italy preview: Turkey could sneak a win

| 09.06.2021

Our Matchday Squad journalist will be covering Turkey throughout Euro 2020

Turkey head into their Group A opener against Italy on the back of a six-game unbeaten streak.

The two conclusions that can be drawn since the qualifiers is that they really do know how to defend and secondly, they tend to play their best against stronger opposition.

It was against perceived weaker opposition that this team struggled, partly due to a lack of concentration and partly down to the biggest strength of this team being in defence. Turkey coped well with the attacking prowess of France and Netherlands, they were able to counter-attack effectively and caused the opposition trouble from set pieces.

Turkey head into the Italy game with a clean bill of health and head coach Senol Gunes has a plethora of options to pick from at the back. This defence kept eight clean sheets in qualifiers and conceded just three goals in the 10 games.

He will probably line his side up with a 4-2-3-1 formation with a hard-working, physical midfield duo in Okay Yokuslu and Ozan Tufan sitting in front of the back four.

I would not be surprised to see Turkey take a positive approach and take the game to Italy. Turkey have a golden generation who have gelled really well and have built a reputation for toppling giants and I think a shock could be on the cards for the opening game.

The visitors are undervalued based on reputation not on actual form and strength. I think Turkey could sneak a win or at least walk away with a draw.

Check out the latest Euro 2020 odds.



Emre Sarigul

Emre Sarigul is a Turkish football expert and founder of, the largest English language-based site dedicated to football in Turkey.

The football journalist has worked on projects with the Guardian, FIFA, BBC, Al Jazeera, Turkish Football Federation, ESPN and numerous others.