The long-awaited Euro 2020 competition gets underway in Rome, with Italy taking on Turkey.

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The long-awaited Euro 2020 competition gets underway in Rome, with Italy taking on Turkey.

Euro 2020 begins in Rome on Friday night, twelve months after it was scheduled to begin, when Italy takes on Turkey in Group A’s first match.

Not only due of the coronavirus-forced postponement and current Covid-19 limitations restricting the number of spectators who may attend matches, but also because of the new look of the tournament.

For the first time, the tournament will be hosted across Europe, with 11 host cities ranging from London to Seville to Baku.

Three home nations – England, Wales, and Scotland – are among the 24 qualified teams, with the first two kicking off their campaigns this weekend.

The day’s tweet

Following ankle ligament injuries sustained while playing for Manchester United last month, the centre-back provided England a major fitness boost by returning to training.

Kick-off

At 8 p.m. on Friday, a resurgent Italy will face Turkey, a dark horse. The Stadio Olimpico in Rome will be at 25% capacity for the encounter, with roughly 16,000 spectators expected to attend. Following their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals, Italy, headed by former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, qualified with a perfect record. Turkey, on the other hand, finished two points behind France in their qualification group, defeating the world champions in the process.

On the road in Wales

When the Euro 2016 semi-finalists face Switzerland in Baku at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the other Group A encounter, they will be more than 3,000 miles away from home. Aaron Ramsey, who was one of the architects of their run to the final four five years ago but has suffered for fitness during his two years at Juventus, missed training on Thursday, but said it was a “planned” decision and that he was “all okay and looking forward” to the start.

England is out for vengeance.

Maguire, England’s main fitness issue, is back in training ahead of their Group D match against Croatia at Wembley on Sunday at 2 p.m. He’s still available for the contest. (This is a brief piece.)

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