England v Turkey Preview

Turkey - Euro 2024 Turkish Football

Turkey take on England at the Etihad having gone 14 games unbeaten and boasting one of their strongest sides since many of us can remember.

The Crescent-Stars may have risen to number 13 in the FIFA World Rankings but they have never actually beat England before. Forget beating England, Turkey have never actually scored against the Three Lions. To make matters worse most fans memories of playing England is getting humiliated 8-0 twice in the 80’s.

England have actually played Turkey 10 times winning eight and drawing on two occasions. The Turkish community of England have had to wait 14 years for this match up. The game will not however, be played in London which has an estimated 500,000 people of Turkish origin but in Manchester. The last time England played Turkey was in the 2003 in Istanbul with the game ending in a goalless draw.

Turkey are in great form but have a number of issues. Firstly Terim will be without Arda Turan who is set to feature for Barcelona in the Spanish Cup final. Borussia Dortmund star Nuri Sahin will miss the game as he will also be involved in the cup final in Germany. Striker Burak Yilmaz and defender Serdar Aziz are also out.

Terim will have to pick from Cenk Tosun who has been in decent form for champions Besiktas but to be fair has played second fiddle to Mario Gomez for most of the season. Mevlut Erdinc is also available but that is about it when it comes to the striking department. There is however, talk of playing Mainz 05 star Yunus Malli as a false 9. What Turkey lacks up-front they make up for in midfield. Bayer Leverkusen free-kick maestro Hakan Calhanoglu is available as is Besiktas duo Oguzhan Ozyakup and Gokhan Tore.

Turkey will probably start with Galatasaray captain Selcuk Inan and Fenerbahce rising star Ozan Tufan in central midfield with Tore, Ozyakup and Calhanoglu ahead of them and either Malli, Tosun or Erdinc up-front.

In defence we could see Fenerbahce defensive midfielder Mehmet Topal and experience Galatasaray defender Hakan Balta as the centre-back pairing while Caner Erkin and Gokhan Gonul are likely to bomb forwards from the full-back position.

One surprise feature could be 18-year-old FC Nordsjælland wonder-kid Emre Mor. The Denmark born Turkish international has yet to receive a senior international cap but Terim has hinted that he may experiment with the youngster ahead of the tournament.

Turkey will be desperate to prove that they have entered a bright, new era and a win or even a draw away to England would take the Crescent-Stars into Euro 2016 on a high.