Euro 2020 Group A: Italian renaissance will need goals

Team guide: Wales will need some Gareth Bale magic while Turkey are a threat

Italy have improved under manager Roberto Mancini. Photograph: Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Italy have improved under manager Roberto Mancini. Photograph: Claudio Villa/Getty Images

 

Turkey

Odds: 50-1
Previous best: Semi-finalists 2008
Prospects: Traditionally cavalier, Turkey’s recent resurgence has been built on their defence. Potential dark horses.
Manager: Senol Gunes guided Turkey to the World Cup semis in 2002 - he took over again in 2019.
Key player: Leicester City’s Caglar Soyuncu is Turkey’s rock at the back, while the goals of 35-year-old Burak Yilmaz recently inspired Lille to the Ligue 1 title.

Italy

Odds: 11-1
Previous best: Winners 1968
Prospects: Despite lacking the swagger and stardust of old, the Azzurri have enjoyed a renaissance since failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Goals might be an issue.
Manager: Roberto Mancini has transformed Italy’s fortunes over the last three years and could have the nous to take them all the way.
Key player: Marco Verratti is one of Italy’s heavyweight names and can offer bite and vision in midfield.

Wales

Odds: 150-1
Previous best: Semi-finalists 2016
Prospects: Recreating the heady days of France in 2016 might be difficult, but Wales have freshened their squad since with some exciting, technical players.
Manager: Robert Page will lead Wales in the absence of former Manchester United player Ryan Giggs, who is facing trial in January accused of assaulting two women.
Key player: Gareth Bale showed flashes of his old genius while on loan at Spurs and always seems to enjoy playing for country more than club.

Switzerlands

Odds: 66-1
Previous best: Last-16 2016
Prospects: The Swiss look like the weak links in this group, both in terms of personnel and momentum. Their fixture against Wales will be crucial.
Manager: Vladimir Petkovic has steered Switzerland into the knockout stages in his last two major tournaments.
Key player: As ever, the Swiss will be leaning on Xherdan Shaquiri to produce some magic this summer, but he has struggled for minutes at Liverpool.

Fixtures

Friday June 11th - Turkey vs Italy (8pm Irish time, Rome)

Saturday June 12th - Wales vs Switzerland (2pm, Baku)

Wednesday June 16th - Turkey vs Wales (5pm, Baku); Italy vs Switzerland (8pm, Rome)

Sunday June 20th - Italy vs Wales (5pm, Rome); Switzerland vs Turkey (5pm, Baku)

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