For just the second time in their history, Turkey will participate in a second consecutive European Championships this summer after impressively negotiating their way through Qualifying Group H. The Crescent-Stars finished second only to France and four points clear of Iceland, losing just one of their 10 games. Furthermore, no side in European Championship qualifying had a better defensive record, with Turkey conceding just three goals.
But they face a tough task in their opening match against an Italian side looking to prove a point. After failing to reach the 2018 World Cup — their first major tournament absence since 1992 — the Azzurri qualified for this tournament with a 100% record across 10 games, scoring 37 goals and conceding just four times as they breezed past the likes of Finland, Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Roberto Mancini’s side has a very different look to the Italian outfit that crashed out of Euro 2016 at the quarter-final stage with a number of young prospects replacing veteran stars. It’s time to test them out on the big stage.
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Turkey vs Italy: Match Stats
Burak Yilmaz had an excellent season with Lille, firing them to the Ligue 1 title, beating Paris Saint-Germain. The Turkish striker was Lille’s top scorer with 16 goals in Ligue 1, a tally bettered only by three players across the division, and he ended the campaign with seven goals in his past seven matches.
However, Italy are unbeaten at the Stadio Olimpico in major tournament football (World Cup and European Championships), winning six and drawing two. At the same time, Turkey are known to be slow starters in European Championships, losing all four of their opening games of the tournament – including a 2-1 defeat against Italy to kick off Euro 2000.
Turkey vs Italy: Corner Stats
Italy took 15 corners in their two Euro 2020 warm up games, although nine of those came in a 7-0 win over San Marino in which they dominated proceedings and took 24 shots. In their three competitive games in 2021, Turkey have conceded 21 corners but also won 13.
Turkey vs Italy: Cards Stats
Although Turkey’s three warm-up games saw few cards, in competitive action in 2021 they have been known to collect a booking or two. In their three World Cup qualifying games, Turkey were shown nine yellow cards, including five against Netherlands. Italy, meanwhile, have been shown five cards in their past three competitive matches.
15 November 2006: Italy 1-1 Turkey – International friendly
20 November 2002: Italy 1-1 Turkey – International friendly
11 June 2000: Turkey 1-2 Italy – European Championships
21 December 1994: Italy 3-1 Turkey – International friendly
3 March 1984: Turkey 1-2 Italy – International friendly
This is the first meeting between these two nations since a 1-1 friendly draw back in November 2006. In 11 previous outings, Turkey are yet to beat Italy, losing eight times and drawing the other three.