Turkey kick-off their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign this weekend eager to prove that they are genuine contenders to qualify for next summer’s tournament.
France are overwhelming favourites to win Group H, with Turkey and Iceland expected to battle for second spot.
Former Besiktas manager Senol Gunes has been tasked with leading his country to the finals and he has been handed an excellent opportunity to get off to a winning start.
Turkey start their campaign on Friday in Albania, before returning to home soil next Monday to face Moldova.
Gunes’ side are priced at 6/5 to win their opening match and there will be plenty of punters eager to use online bookmaker offers to take advantage of what appear to be generous odds.
Turkey were held to a goalless draw in their last friendly at home to Ukraine back in November, with poor finishing costing them the chance of victory.
However, with Albania winning just two of their last nine matches the visitors are strongly fancied to pick up three points on Friday.
Turkey triumphed 1-0 on their last trip to Albania in a World Cup qualifier back in 2005 and a repeat of that scoreline looks tempting at odds of around 5/1.
A player to watch out for during the game is Armando Sadiku. The Lugano forward has missed most of the season with a knee injury but he is back fit and playing.
He has a decent record for Albania, scoring 10 goals in his last 24 games, and Turkey will need to keep an eye on him if he starts the game.
Monday’s home match against Moldova gives Turkey a superb chance to make it two wins out of two in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Turkey are unbeaten in their last nine meetings with Moldova, winning seven and drawing two, and their squad should prove too strong for their opponents.
With France expected to win the group it is imperative that Turkey get off to a good start this weekend, particularly with Iceland facing winnable games against Andorra and Albania.
Iceland were a revelation at Euro 2016, beating England in a memorable 2-1 win in the round of 16, before losing to France in the quarter-finals.
They went on to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, although they crashed out in the group stage. Iceland have struggled since then and Turkey are fancied to claim second spot behind France.