Monday, June 17, 2024

Prediction: Italy vs Turkey

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 3 Jun 2024

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Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 10/17

Bookmaker: BetUS

Reigning continental champions Italy continue their preparations for Euro 2024 on Tuesday evening, hosting fellow finalists Turkey in Bologna for an international friendly at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.

The Azzurri have secured three wins in their last four matches, with the other being a crucial draw with Ukraine that ensured their qualification. Meanwhile, their visitors breezed through qualifying but suffered a heavy 6-1 defeat against Austria in their most recent outing.

Italy

Setting out to defend their continental title in Germany, where they will compete in their eighth consecutive European Championship finals, Italy aim to replicate their 2021 triumph at Wembley.

At the end of last year, the Azzurri faced a major challenge when their Euros-winning manager Roberto Mancini abruptly left for Saudi Arabia. Under new head coach Luciano Spalletti, they managed to avoid an unwanted play-off by edging out Ukraine for second place in Group C.

To prepare for the summer, two friendlies in the United States were scheduled for the spring international period, allowing Spalletti to evaluate various tactical options and personnel. Italy, set to face Spain, Croatia, and Albania in the group stage, emerged victorious in both matches: a brace from Mateo Retegui secured a win over Venezuela in Miami, followed by a 2-1 victory against Ecuador in New Jersey. This brought their tally to six wins out of nine games since their loss in the UEFA Nations League semifinals.

This week, La Nazionale reconvened at their Coverciano headquarters in preparation for facing Turkey at Stadio Dall’Ara and Bosnia-Herzegovina in Empoli. Six days later, they will kick off their Euros campaign against Albania.

Team News

Spalletti’s preliminary squad has already been trimmed from 30 players, with Francesco Acerbi undergoing groin surgery and Giorgio Scalvini suffering an ACL tear. Both center-backs join Nicolo Zaniolo, Domenico Berardi, Destiny Udogie, and suspended midfielder Sandro Tonali on the sidelines.

Although Gianluca Scamacca was recalled, his involvement against Turkey is questionable due to his participation in Atalanta’s delayed final league match of the season against Fiorentina, which took place on Sunday.

While Tonali remains unavailable due to his betting ban, Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli has returned from a similar suspension and was surprisingly selected by Spalletti, while his club teammate Manuel Locatelli has been omitted.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma will captain Italy once again, as former skipper Ciro Immobile has been left out following a season plagued by injuries and declining form. As a result, Retegui is expected to start up front.

Turkey

Like their hosts on Tuesday, Turkey will begin their Euro 2024 campaign in Dortmund, where Vincenzo Montella’s team will face debutants Georgia in Group B, which also includes Portugal and the Czech Republic.

First, Montella returns to his homeland following two disheartening defeats in March, where his team narrowly lost to Hungary before suffering a 6-1 thrashing by Austria in Vienna.

The Italian coach, capped 20 times during his playing career, had been unbeaten since taking over last September, and Turkey emerged as winners of Group D in Euros qualifying.

Accumulating 17 points from eight games, highlighted by a historic victory in Croatia, the Crescent-Stars secured the top spot, finishing five points ahead of third-placed Wales.

However, recent results have left Montella in need of a morale-boosting win before the main event. Following Turkey’s match in Emilia-Romagna, they will travel to Warsaw for a final warm-up against Poland.

Team News

Turkish defenders Caglar Soyuncu and Ridvan Yilmaz are sidelined due to injuries, along with former Roma forward Cengiz Under.

However, the Italy-based trio of Zeki Celik, Kenan Yildiz, and captain Hakan Çalhanoglu are all available. Çalhanoglu, recently named Serie A midfielder of the year, had an outstanding season, helping Inter Milan win the Scudetto.

Like Spalletti, Montella has been experimenting with different formations lately, but his preferred goalkeeper remains Ugurcan Cakir, as Altay Bayindir hasn’t had the required playing time at Manchester United, mostly serving as the understudy for Andre Onana.

Conclusion

Both teams achieved automatic qualification for Euro 2024, but neither has been entirely convincing recently, especially in defence.

The two coaches will aim to experiment with tactical adjustments, but playing in front of their supporters, Italy should have enough in their locker to snatch a win.

Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 10/17

Bookmaker: BetUS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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