Turkey – Brazil Preview: Back Neymar to score [divider]
Turkey head into their second international friendly on Turkish soil since 1956 against Brazil at the Şükrü Saracoğlu stadium.
Fatih Terim renowned for his man-management skills has had a bit of a PR disaster, managing to ruin team moral and public perception of the national team going into the game.
Terim’s decision to drop Bayer Leverkusen stars Ömer Toprak and Hakan Çalhanoğlu while calling up Gökhan Töre has been heavily criticised – especially considering a friend of Töre pulled a gun out on the Bayer duo.
Turning back to the game Terim has already revealed many of his usual starting XI have been ruled out, whether they are actually injured of if they are being rested for the all important Euro 2016 qualification game against Kazakhstan is one for the conspiracy theorists.
As things stand Gökhan Gönül, Semih Kaya, Mustafa Pektemek, Mevlüt Erdinç, Töre and Burak Yılmaz are unlikely to start or play.
Terim could be forced to play out of form Galatasaray right back Tarık Çamdal alongside an experimental centre-back pairing of Bekir İrtegün and Serdar Kesimal. Only Caner Erkin will be in his usual starting position at left-back.
Turkey’s defending has been poor recently, the Crescent-Stars have shipped nine goals in their last five games and did not keep a clean sheet in any of these games.
Terim still has the experienced Hamit Altıntop and Umut Bulut to call upon in the attacking third, along with Atletico Madrid star Arda Turan and in form Beşiktaş winger Olcay Şahan.
Turan is familiar with quite a few of the Brazil players, Atleti teammate Miranda, former teammate Filipe Luis and his Barcelona rival Neymar. The Turkish international will be the key if Turkey are to spring a surprise here.
Turkey are unlikely to keep a clean sheet but they could post Brazil a few problems attacking wise as well.
Expected Starting XI
Volkan, Tarık, Bekir, Serdar, Caner, Hamit, Selçuk, Topal, Arda, Olcay, Umut
Brazil replaced Scolari with Dunga following an embarrassing 7-1 drubbing against Germany in the World Cup.
Dunga’s side have beat Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina and most recently Japan since his appointment.
The Brazil national team coach has selected a side comprising solely of footballers plying their trade in Europe.
Dunga will be without PSG winger Lucas Moura who is out with a bruised foot for the game but he has a whole host of other in form stars such as Willian, Miranda, Oscar and of course Neymar.
The Barcelona star scored four times against Japan in Brazil’s 4-0 win last month and has a total of 40 in 58 senior international appearances.
Neymar will be expected to give a weakened Turkish defence a lot of problems and it would not be a surprise were he to get on the scoresheet considering his red hot form of late.
Alves, Sandro, Miranda, Thiago Silva, Filipe, Fernandinho, Gustavo, Willian, Oscar, Adriano, Neymar
Over 2.5 goals / Neymar to score