After its heavy defeat in the opening match of Euro 2020 against Italy (3-0), Turkey has the opportunity to redeem itself Wednesday at 6 p.m. against Wales in an Olympic stadium in Baku acquired to his cause.

The support of the Azeris, neighbors of the Turks, will be an advantage.

Turkey, struck by its heavy defeat at the opening of Euro 2020 against Italy on Friday in Rome (3-0), will want to bounce back at its neighbor, Azerbaijan, in the Olympic stadium in Baku against Wales ( 18 hours).

Istanbul does not host Euro football matches, but 2,000 kilometers away in Baku, Turks will feel right at home, Azerbaijan having strong cultural ties with Turkey.

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Turks supported by thousands of supporters

In the days leading up to the game, accessories in the colors of Turkey were blooming everywhere in the shops of Baku. And many Turkish flags hung from the windows of apartments or offices. Elkhan Mammadov, general secretary of the Azerbaijan Football Federation, foresees "great support for Turkey from Azerbaijani fans", in addition to that of Turkish fans - he foresees some 4,000 - who came via direct flights between the two countries. Tuesday morning, 25,000 of the 31,000 of the Baku Olympic Stadium on sale had found a taker. For the Turks, the challenge is to recover from their crushing defeat against the Italians if they do not want to leave the competition at the end of the group stage. 

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Turkey and Azerbaijan, two friendly countries

Relations between the two countries have always been excellent.

No visa is needed to switch from one to the other, and Turkey was the first country to recognize independence from Azerbaijan in 1991 after the fall of the USSR.

"We have the same roots. We speak almost the same language, so we understand each other. This is also one of the great advantages," explains Elkhan Mammadov.

"Another advantage is geographical. We are neighbors, with a common border, there is a large Azerbaijani community in Turkey and Turkish in Azerbaijan," he adds.

Ties between Turkey and Azerbaijan were further strengthened during the conflict last year in Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed region between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Ankara provided military support to Baku, which emerged from the conflict stronger by taking control of several territories.