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Euro 2020
6 min read

Turkey Euro 2020 Preview

Turkey go into the Euro’s as possible dark horses, with a strong selection of players eligible to Senol Gunes, his side will be looking to cause an upset or two.

Turkey’s Squad

  • GK:Mert Gunok (Istanbul Basaksehir)
  • GK: Ugurcan Cakir (Trabzonspor)
  • GK: Gokhan Akkan (Caykur Rizespor)
  • GK: Altay Bayindir (Fenerbahce)
  • DF: Kaan Ayhan (Sassuolo)
  • DF: Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester City)
  • DF: Merih Demiral (Juventus)
  • DF: Zeki Celik (Lille)
  • DF: Umut Meras (Le Havre)
  • DF: Ozan Kabak (Liverpool)
  • DF: Ridvan Yilmaz (Beşiktaş)
  • DF: Mert Muldur (Sassuolo)
  • MF: Abdülkadir Ömür (Trabzonspor)
  • MF: Cengiz Ünder (Leicester)
  • MF: Efecan Karaca (Alanyaspor)
  • MF: Ozan Tufan (Fenerbahce)
  • MF: Hakan Calhanoglu (AC Milan)
  • MF: Okay Yokuslu (West Bromwich Albion)
  • MF: Yusuf Yazici (Lille)
  • MF: Irfan Kahveci (Fenerbahce)
  • MF: Dorukhan Tokoz (Besiktas)
  • MF: Orkun Kokcu (Feyenoord)
  • MF: Halil Akbunar (Goztepe)
  • MF: Mahmut Tekdemir (İstanbul Başakşehir)
  • MF: Taylan Antalyalı (Galatasaray)
  • FW: Burak Yilmaz (Lille)
  • FW: Halil İbrahim Dervişoğlu (Galatasaray)
  • FW: Kenan Karaman (Fortuna Dusseldorf)
  • FW: Enes Unal (Getafe)
  • FW: Kerem Aktürkoğlu (Galatasaray)

What To Expect

They qualified as runners up in Group H to France, just two points behind in the group, both losing just one game but Turkey drawing two and France just once. Gunes’s side were even unbeaten against the World Champions winning once 2-0 and dawing 1-1. Turkey’s only defeat came at the hands of Iceland.

Gunes sets his side up in a 4-1-4-1 formation, usually led by Burak Yilmaz who recently scored a hattrick in Turkey’s 4-2 win over the Netherlands in their World Cup group stage. Yilmaz scored 16 times in Ligue 1 this season for his club side, Lille, and is still showing elite-level performances at the age of 35.

There are familiar names to Premier League football followers, with Ozan Kabak and Caglar Soyuncu at the heart of the defence. Cengiz Under, who struggled to make a similar impact to his Turkish compatriot Soyuncu at Leicester, is often used on the wing as well as in a supporting role to the striker.

A lot of talk in the side will revolve around Hakan Calhanoglu and his impending contract expiration at Serie A giants AC Milan. A key player in his national side, he will have eyes from clubs across Europe upon him as he weighs up his options of where he will be playing football next season. AC Milan are keen to keep the playmaker, though reports suggest Liverpool are amongst a host of sides with solid interest.

Sunes’s side may have some creative players, like Calhanoglu, though there is not much depth in this particular ability. Defensively they are organized and difficult to break down. With a hard-working midfield that shields the defence, opposition sides will struggle to create opportunities easily. Against strong sides they will sit deep and look to use the pace of players such as Under, to get the ball forward and exploit transitions.  This will be evident in their first game against Italy, where the Azzurri will look to dominate possession and try to control the game.

Where they can struggle is against sides that they would go into the game as equals or favourites. As they were defeated against Iceland in the group stages, Sunes was unable to have his side remain comfortable and cause difficulties for the opposition defence while being allowed more possession than in games against sides like France.

Should they progress into the knockout rounds, Turkey will be a difficult side to face and will be a strong side with a lot of belief. If Yilmaz can continue his goal-scoring form, they will be a real threat in the competition, buoyed from recent results against France and the Netherlands that will give them belief going into any game. 

If Turkey can perform well enough against Switzerland and Wales, confidence could make them a difficult side to face and the chance of a Quarter-final seems very possible for Gunes’s side.

If you liked this Premier League article, check out my twitter for much more @MikeRice76

Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter @FootballOTH and @OTHeroics for all your sporting needs! Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics Forums.

Main Image Credits- Embed from Getty Images

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