Road to Euro 2020 : Turkey Team Analysis
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Turkey’s position in world football is highly credited to the emergence of top youth talents that have gone on to establish themselves at some of Europe’s top football clubs, such as Caglar Soyuncu at Leicester City, Hakan Calhanoglu at AC Milan and Merih Demiral at Juventus. 

The country possesses riches of talent in both attack and defence, especially in the latter as they allowed no more than three goals in ten EURO qualifier matches which earned them a place in Group A alongside Italy, Wales and Switzerland – one of the two groups of death in the competition along with Group F (Portugal, France, Germany and Hungary).

 

Turkey may not have the best of goalkeepers in the competition, but with promising youngsters Altay Bayindir of Fenerbahce, Mert Gunok of Basaksehir and Ugurcan Cakir of Trabzonspor, they have a strong shotstoppers in their ranks.  

 

Just in front, Turkey have talented defenders who have impressed in Europe in 2020/21 – especially Caglar Soyuncu, Liverpool loanee Ozan Kabak and Ligue 1 winner Zeki Celik. Celik, the Bursaspor youth product and right back has been outstanding for LOSC Lille, playing a vital role in the run for the league title in France, beating Paris Saint-Germain. Umut Meras of Le Havre is expected to fill in the left back role and might just turn out to be the weak link in defense.

 

Turkey’s midfield could be called the weak part of the team, although they have displayed moments of brilliance in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers and recent friendlies. They have talents capable of leading the line but compared to other teams in the tournament, Turkey are certainly at a disadvantage in the centre of the field. AC Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu is expected to spearhead the midfield, helped with the presence of Fenerbahce’s 26-year-old central midfielder Ozan Tufan, who has been outstanding in Super Lig.

 

Led by Lille veteran Burak YIlmaz and Leicester City forward Cengiz Under, Turkey possess the firepower to cause damage to defences. But if they are not provided with the required midfield support - creativity and timely passes, it will be hard to penetrate some of the world’s best defenses. 

 

Turkey’s key to success is going to lie in the perfect mix of defensive capabilities & attacking prowess. They have performed remarkably well in recent match days, having not lost in their past six matches due to balanced performances. Although it will be hard to contain the attacks of other nations in the tournament, Turkey have the ability to show perseverance and passion to hold out teams on the back foot for extended amounts of time. But how far that goes, remains to be seen.

Here is Turkey’s full squad for EURO 2020 –

Goalkeepers: Altay Bayındır (Fenerbahce), Mert Gunok (Istanbul Basaksehir), Ugurcan Cakir (Trabzonspor)

Defenders: Zeki Celik (LOSC Lille), Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester), Kaan Ayhan (Sassuolo), Merih Demiral (Juventus), Mert Muldur (Sassuolo), Ozan Kabak (Liverpool), Ridvan Yilmaz (Besiktas), Umut Meras (Le Havre)

Midfielders: Yusuf Yazıcı (LOSC Lille), Dorukhan Tokoz (Besiktas), Irfan Can Kahveci (Fenerbahce), Okay Yokuslu (West Brom), Orkun Kokcu (Feyenoord), Ozan Tufan (Fenerbahce), Taylan Antalyali (Galatasaray), Hakan Calhanoglu (AC Milan)

Forwards: Burak Yilmaz (LOSC Lille), Cengiz Under (Leicester), Enes Unal (Getafe), Abdulkadir Omur (Trabzonspor), Kerem Akturkoglu (Galatasaray), Halil Ibrahim Dervisoglu (Brentford), Kenan Karaman (Fortuna Dusseldorf)

Turkey will open their account on 11 June against Italy at Rome’s grand Stadio Olimpico, before going on to face Wales on 16 June and Switzerland four days later. If they manage to put in strong performances Turkey can go all the way to the final stages of the competition.

Players to watch: Caglar Soyuncu, Burak Yilmaz, Hakan Calhanoglu & Zeki Celik

 


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