MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 20:21:50| >> :600:89219:89219:
Jun 11, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stadio Olimpico

Soyuncu (88'), Dervisoglu (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Demiral (53' og.), Immobile (66'), Insigne (79')

How Turkey could line up against Italy

How Turkey could line up against Italy
© Reuters
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at how Turkey could line up for Friday's Euro 2020 opener against Italy.

Turkey head into the opening game of this year's much-delayed European Championship with coach Senol Gunes set to lead an increasingly confident young side into the battle for continental glory.

Meeting one of the competition hosts, Italy, at Stadio Olimpico on Friday evening, the one-time World Cup semi-finalist will take a squad with an average age of just under 25 years - many of whom are yet to reach their peak - into almost certainly their toughest game of the group phase.

Gunes has prioritised instilling some substance into the Crescent-Stars defence, and can choose from Juventus prospect Merih Demiral, Leicester City's lynchpin Caglar Soyuncu, Liverpool loanee Ozan Kabak and Kaan Ayhan, of Serie A side Sassuolo, in the centre - though the former pair are expected to start.

Like Demiral and Ayhan, Milan playmaker and dead-ball wizard Hakan Calhanoglu is a regular in the Italian top flight, and has been the creative fulcrum in Turkey's midfield for several years. As he often prefers to cut in from the left, he may start out wide with license to roam, as the visitors set up in a probable 4-1-4-1 formation.

If a 3-4-3 is deployed, however, Ayhan could make the team sheet, but it is more likely that the XI which starts on Friday will closely correspond with that picked for the final warm-up match versus Moldova last week.

Now approaching veteran status, recent Ligue 1 winner Burak Yilmaz should again lead the line up front, with support from Calhanoglu and Yusuf Yazici.

Out wide, meanwhile, Roma winger Cengiz Under - returning to the Olimpico after a largely fruitless time in the Premier League last season - will compete with Kenan Karaman for a berth on the right, though Abdulkadir Omur is also an outside contender.

A successful West Bromwich Albion loan signing in January, deep-lying midfielder Okay Yokuslu is poised to start as the deepest man in the engine room, working alongside Ozan Tufan of Fenerbahce.

> Click here to see how Italy could line up for Friday's Euro 2020 opener

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