Turkey kick off their UEFA Euro 2024 campaign this week against Armenia and Croatia.
Head coach Stefan Kuntz will need to take accountability to achieve goals of qualifying for Euro 2024.
Turkiye national team coach has called up a squad including several new names including Abdulkerim Bardakci, Mehmet Can Aydin and Umut Nayir – who could receive their first cap.
Turkey kick off their qualification campaign on 25 March in the Republican Stadium in Yerevan.
The national team will them fly back to Turkey to face Croatia at the Bursa Buyuksehir Belediye Stadium for their second group game.
Under Kuntz Turkey topped the UEFA Nations League C Group 1 group although the opposition was not exactly the strongest with Luxembourg, Faroe Islands and Lithuania.
More worryingly Turkey managed to drop points in their final two games losing away to Faroe Islands and being held to a draw against Luxembourg.
Kuntz has been in charge of Turkey since September 2021 taking charge of 14 games so far, winning nine, drawing two and losing three, giving a win percentage of 64 percent.
Turkey narrowly missed out on qualification to the Qatar World Cup. Kuntz tried to turn around a disastrous start to the qualification campaign and got the team to the playoffs but they eventually bowed out against Portugal.
A lot was expected from this generation of players. And many have gone onto succeed at club level in top five leagues across Europe.
This team is not shy on quality. The likes of Caglar Soyuncu Soyuncu [Leicester City, Merih Demiral [Atalanta], Ozan Kabak [Hoffenheim], Mehmet Zeki Celik [Roma], Cengiz Under [Marseille], Hakan Calhanoglu [Inter], Salih Ozcan [Borussia Dortmund], Enes Unal [Getafe], Mehmet Can Aydin [Schalke] all play in top five leagues.
And there is a lot of quality coming through the ranks with the likes of Ferdi Kadioglu, Arda Guler, Orkun Kokcu to name but a few.
The problem is not in terms of talent the issue has been playing as a team, with an identity.
Turkey have looked lost for years, devoid of a playing style and togetherness on the field.
There are signs that is changing under Kuntz. The Germany manager is about to embark on his first real qualification campaign with Turkey.
Group D includes Croatia, Wales, Armenia and Latvia. Wales and Crotia on paper are Turkey’s toughest test althoug the Welsh could themselves struggle with the likes of Gareth Bale retiring.
Turkey’s biggest test this group will come against Croatia next week. I think Kuntz could finally get this team to reach their potential. Prediction: Turkey to qualify from group
The Full Provisional Squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Altay Bayındır, Fehmi Mert Günok, Uğurcan Çakır
Defending: Mehmet Zeki Çelik, Onur Bulut, Abdülkerim Bardakcı, Cenk Özkacar, Çağlar Söyüncü, Merih Demiral, Ozan Kabak, Samet Akaydin, Tayyip Talha Sanuç, Eren Elmalı, Ferdi Kadıoğlu
Midfield/Attack: Abdülkadir Ömür, Barış Alper Yılmaz, Cengiz Ünder, Arda Güler, Hakan Çalhanoğlu, İsmail Yüksek, Mehmet Can Aydın, Orkun Kökçü, Salih Özcan, İrfan Can Kahveci, Kerem Aktürkoğlu, Cenk Tosun, Enes Ünal, Umut Nayir