EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS 2020
Euro 2020 | Group A: Turkey, Italy, Wales, Switzerland
The European Championships, delayed to 2021 due to the covid-19 pandemic, get underway on 11 June. We take a look at the nations facing each other in the group.
The 2020 UEFA European Championships kick-off on 11 June 2021, a year later than planned due to the coronavirus pandemic. As we build up to the event - find out more here - we preview the teams that have been pitted against each other in the group stage.
EURO 2020 news:
Euro 2020: Group A preview
FIFA ranking: 29
Coach: Senol Gunes
Former goalkeeper Gunes guided Turkey to third place at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan and returned to the helm in 2019 -- 15 years after his first stint -- to help the ambitious team chase a maiden European Championship title.
Captain: Burak Yilmaz
Yilmaz is the team's main attacking threat and Turkey will count on the 35-year-old, who is enjoying a superb season with Lille, to continue delivering goals with fellow striker Cenk Tosun out of action due to a knee injury.
Top player: Hakan Calhanoglu
One of the few members of the current Turkey squad to have experienced the low of their group stage exit in 2016, AC Milan playmaker Calhanoglu will head into the tournament looking to inspire the team as one of their best players.
Turkey have played in four finals from when they first qualified in 1996, reaching the semi-finals in 2008 following a thrilling penalty shootout victory over Croatia. The country's last outing in 2016 was one to forget as they finished third behind Croatia and Spain in Group D. But a strong qualifying campaign this time has left them with plenty of hope.
2021 Turkey 3-3 Latvia World Cup qualifying
2021 Norway 0-3 Turkey World Cup qualifying
2021 Turkey 4-2 Netherlands World Cup qualifying
2020 Hungary 2-0 Turkey UEFA Nations League
2020 Turkey 3-2 Russia UEFA Nations League
June 11: v Italy, Rome
June 16: v Wales, Baku
June 20: v Switzerland, Baku
William Hill odds to win: 50-1
FIFA ranking: 7
Coach: Roberto Mancini
Mancini has revived Italy's fortunes since taking over in 2018 after they failed to qualify for the World Cup. The team are unbeaten in their last 25 games to match the record of 2006 World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi's run without defeat.
Captain: Giorgio Chiellini
The rock at the heart of the Italy defence, Chiellini will hope to lead his side to their first European Championship title since 1968, having endured the disappointment of 2012 when they lost 4-0 to Spain in the final.
Top player: Ciro Immobile
The experienced Lazio centre forward is enjoying a strong season for club and country with 27 goals so far and will be expected to provide the main goal threat for the Azzurri.
Italy won their first and only European Championship in 1968 in Rome, beating Yugoslavia 2-0 in a replay two days after a 1-1 draw, but they did not qualify for the next two editions. Following a semi-final run in 1988, Italy were runners-up in 2000 after losing 2-1 to France and missed out on the title yet again in 2012 when they were thrashed 4-0 by Spain in the final.
2021 Lithuania 0-2 Italy World Cup qualifying
2021 Bulgaria 0-2 Italy World Cup qualifying
2021 Italy 2-0 N. Ireland World Cup qualifying
2020 Bosnia 0-2 Italy UEFA Nations League
2020 Italy 2-0 Poland UEFA Nations League
June 11: v Turkey, Rome
June 16: v Switzerland, Rome
June 20: v Wales, Rome
William Hill odds to win: 11-1
FIFA ranking: 17
Coach: Robert Page (caretaker)
Page has a decent record since filling in for Ryan Giggs, who has been replaced as manager for the tournament following assault charges over which Giggs has pleaded not guilty, winning four of his six games to show he is up to the task.
Captain: Gareth Bale
How far Wales progress will depend on the form of their talisman Bale, who has found form after initially struggling to hit top gear since rejoining Tottenham Hotspur on loan from Real Madrid but remains his country's biggest threat.
Top player: Aaron Ramsey
Injuries have prevented Ramsey from playing as often as he would have liked this season but the Juventus midfielder is an automatic pick and Wales will hope he can rediscover the form that earned him a spot in the 2016 team of the tournament.
Wales ended a 57-year wait to play in a major tournament by qualifying for the European Championship finals in 2016 where they proved to be one of the surprise packages. They came second in their qualifying group before marching through the tournament into the last-four where they lost to eventual champions Portugal.
2021 Wales 1-0 Czech Republic World Cup qualifying
2021 Wales 1-0 Mexico International friendly
2021 Belgium 3-1 Wales World Cup qualifying
2020 Wales 3-1 Finland UEFA Nations League
2020 Wales 1-0 Ireland UEFA Nations League
June 12: v Switzerland, Baku
June 16: v Turkey, Baku
June 20: v Italy, Rome
William Hill odds to win: 125-1
FIFA ranking: 13
Coach: Vladimir Petkovic
The Swiss have reached every major finals since former Lazio boss Petkovic took charge in 2014, reaching the last 16 at the 2016 tournament and the World Cup two years later.
Switzerland also reached the semi-finals of the inaugural UEFA Nations League where they lost to eventual champions Portugal.
Captain: Granit Xhaka
Xhaka has overcome his struggles at Arsenal to establish himself as one of manager Mikel Arteta's most trusted players. The tough-tackling midfielder is the engine of the Swiss team and is likely to play a key role for them.
Top player: Xherdan Shaqiri
Shaqiri will hope a change of scenery will help reignite his season after failing to make a major impact at Liverpool. Having netted 23 goals for the national team, he needs two more to join Adrian Knup in third place on their all-time list of scorers.
After group stage exits in 1996, 2004 and 2008, Switzerland's best effort at the European Championship came in 2016 when they reached the last 16 but lost to Poland on penalties after a 1-1 draw following extra time.
2021 Switzerland 3-2 Finland International friendly
2021 Switzerland 1-0 Lithuania World Cup qualifying
2021 Bulgaria 1-3 Switzerland World Cup qualifying
2020 Switzerland 3-0 Ukraine UEFA Nations League
2020 Switzerland 1-1 Spain UEFA Nations League
June 12: v Wales, Baku
June 16: v Italy, Rome
June 20: v Turkey, Baku
William Hill odds to win: 80-1
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