Italy will be desperate to make up for missing out on the 2018 World Cup with a strong showing at Euro 2020.
Under Roberto Mancini the Azzurri have really turned a corner and go into the competition on a 27-game unbeaten streak.
Now, though, they have to do it where it really matters, starting with their Group A curtain-raiser against a strong Turkey side. Here is the XI that Mancini is likely to turn to on Friday night…
Gianluigi Donnarumma (GK) – His club future may be uncertain but one thing is for sure: Donnarumma will start every game for Italy at Euro 2020 barring injury. Still only 22 he already has 26 caps. Woah.
Alessandro Florenzi (RB) – Florenzi’s energy down the righthand side has been key in making Mancini’s modern approach work. The width he provides with his overlaps is vital in possession and he is likely to shake off a fitness issue to start.
Giorgio Chiellini (CB) – There may be a younger flavour to this Italy team but some old dogs remain. Chiellini is the most obvious example. Now 36 he is likely playing in his final major tournament.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – Chiellini without his partner in crime Bonucci just does not feel right. Their experience could be vital, though teams will be confident of targeting their lack of pace.
Leonardo Spinazzola (LB) – Emerson’s lack of football at Chelsea this season means Spinazzola will get the nod. The Roma left-back loves to get forward and is blessed with tireless stamina.
Jorginho (CM) – The midfielder will be hoping to add a European Championship medal to the Champions League title he won in May. Derided by some of his club’s fans, he has few detractors in Italy.
Manuel Locatelli (CM) – After another excellent season at Sassuolo, Locatelli is most likely to replace Marco Verratti, who will struggle to even make the bench due to a knee injury.
Nicolo Barella (CM) – One of the stars of Inter’s Serie A winning side. Mancini is a big fan of his and he is not the only one taken by the 24-year-old. Barella’s combination of dynamism and technique could see him steal the show.
Federico Chiesa (RW) – Chiesa goes into the tournament off the back of another impressive Serie A season. There is growing belief that he could play a big part in Juventus‘ rebuild and Italy’s resurgence over the next few years.
Ciro Immobile (ST) – A bonafide goal machine for some time at Lazio, Immobile has not always managed to replicate his fine club form on the international stage. That needs to change if Italy are to go deep into the tournament and he is to keep his place over Andrea Belotti.
Lorenzo Insigne (LW) – Insigne had an excellent club season, netting 19 goals in 36 Serie A matches. That is more than enough to get him a guaranteed starting spot ahead of Federico Bernardeschi and others.