Italy’s relentless run, injuries and England chat as Euro 2020 begins

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Euro 2020 has finally arrived, and with it our daily look ahead at what to watch out for, who could impress and which Reds are involved in the action.

The opening day is one of the more quiet games in terms of match action, but of course there’s the anticipation and build-up to factor in – as well as taking care of any vital last-minute activities of your own.

You know the sort: picking your tournament top scorer in the work sweepstakes, sorting your fantasy team, that sort of thing.

Here we’ll be looking at what has gone on so far, the big talking points, what you need to watch out for each day so you’re fully clued up heading into each round of matches – starting with tonight’s opening encounter.

 

What’s been going on?

Pre-tournament it’s all about the injuries, sadly.

Our own Trent Alexander-Arnold picked up an injury in a friendly last week and sadly misses out, but he’s not the only one.

Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen tested positive for Covid so was left out, and team-mate Donny van de Beek is injured and will also be excluded – and not replaced in the squad.

Spain saw Sergio Busquets test positive and he will miss the opening games, but Diego Llorente has returned both a negative and positive test – another on Friday will determine whether he can play the opener.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marco Reus, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Ansu Fati, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are all those whose Euro 2020 hopes were ended before they even begun, due to injuries.

 

Today’s fixtures

Turkey vs Italy, 8pm, BBC One.

 

Expectations on…

Frello Jorginho of Italy at San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy on November 13, 2017. (Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/NurPhoto/Sipa USA)

The entire Italian team and Roberto Mancini. They have been faring extremely well of late and are one of the real candidates to go all the way – but this is a big opening test.

Eight wins in a row now for the Azzurri – and 21 wins in the last 24. They must be feeling optimistic about their chances and much of the starting XI is already well-known.

Can they now perform on the big stage?

 

Key battle to watch

Burak Yilmaz was a man in form for Lille this season, while Leonardo Bonucci had what can kindly be described as an up-and-down season with Juventus.

How the Italy centre-back deals with the Turkish striker’s movement and predatory instincts will determine whether an upset might be on the cards.

 

Fans are talking about…

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - Tuesday, July 3, 2018: England's Raheem Sterling during the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Round of 16 match between Colombia and England at the Spartak Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Trevor Sinclair, apparently. The radio mouthpiece has some interesting ideas at times, shall we say, and they don’t always have a whole lot of foundation behind them.

Today his England XI reasonings include starting Raheem Sterling because he grew up near Wembley and eulogising that he can remember when Phil Foden burst onto the scene, which as we all know happened so many years ago…

 

Reds in action

Just our recently on-loan centre-back, Ozan Kabak! He’s not a definite starter for Turkey unless they play three at the back.

 

Predictions

Italy to edge a narrow win, but Turkey to show enough to suggest they’ll trouble others.

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