Turkey v Italy: Euro 2020 opener – live!

Italy coach Roberto Mancini is looking to put on a show tonight, and for the foreseeable. “After all that has happened, and now the situation is getting better, it’s about time to get back to giving some joy. This will be our goal this month. We want to entertain people even if only for 90 minutes. It would be nice for everyone. So we are here, and we will try to give our everything. The first match is always the most difficult, especially at the beginning, but we have to be mentally free, to think about what we have to do, to do our job without thinking about other stuff, to enjoy it. This must be our goal.”

The 16,000 spectators might be wasting their time. That’s because the result appears to be a done deal; Achilles the Oracle Cat has prophesied victory for Italy in tonight’s game. Achilles, one of the mousers at St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum by day, looked into his crystal bowl this morning and started chowing down on the Italians. He’s got form, having correctly predicted the winner of the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup, then the first four matches at the following year’s World Cup. He started getting a few things wrong after that, but nobody’s perfect, and yes I did consider making that pun before thinking better of it.

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