Turkey may have qualified for the upcoming EURO 2020 event finishing behind World Champions France in the group qualifiers, but what are their chances at the continent’s most prestigious event?
It will be remembered that Turkey held and beat France over two group H matches, and given the development that has been witnessed on several Turkish players, there is hope among fans that their national team can cause a major upset. A lot can be written about their chances going into the event, but they can take pride in the solid performances by Senol Gunes men.
Turkey has been pooled alongside heavyweights Italy, Switzerland, and Wales in a relatively fair group. Free-scoring Italy has been on a rampage, Wales qualified on the final day, while Switzerland may not possess the same firepower as before. Coach Gunes can take consolation in the fact that he did stop France, so he will be convinced that his charges can take the game to his opponents and qualify for the next round of the EURO championships.
A runner up finish behind Italy will be a reasonable expectation for the Red Crescents, but from experience, it will be all to play for from all the teams taking part in the tournament. The Czech Republic beat all odds to feature in the Euro 96 final against favorites Germany. Greece would go all the way to beat Portugal in the 2004 edition after causing a series of upsets along the way, and Turkey will feel that this could be their time. No one is banking on them to lift the cup, but that takes the pressure off the players and their coach.
Teamwork did it for Turkey
Turkey managed 20 points after 9 matches, and for the first time in many years performed consistently under the former Besiktas coach. They did not have any big names to rely on throughout the campaign, but unity among the squad members is believed to have been one of the key components. Not many people knew the likes of Caglar Soyuncu, but his exploits in the English Premier League have not gone unnoticed. In Soyuncu, Gunes has a leader and a dependable man to lead the backline.
One of the most notable performers for Turkey over the qualifying rounds was Leicester defender Caglar Soyuncu. He displayed match-winning performances for his side, most prominently restricting the likes of Antoine Griezman, Paul Pogba and Olivier Giroud among others in a pulsating duel in France. Overall, Turkey conceded only 3 goals in 10 matches, keeping 7 clean sheets in the process.
The defence will not be a major concern for Senol, with other quality options like Kaan Ayhan of Bundesliga side Fortuna Duseeldorf, 19-year old Schalke youngster Ozan Kabak, Juventus Merih Demiral, and Roma’s Mert Cetin.
Up front, Cenk Tosun looks set to lead the line alongside veteran Burak Yilmaz, but there will definitely be more call-ups as the date draws closer. All the matches will be available for betting on the Betway platform, so be sure to make a few wise picks.