Dutch must step up in Turkey tussle despite missing dangerous duo
Former Turkey boss Guus Hiddink fittingly faces a potential watershed moment against his old team, as the Netherlands try to make up lost ground in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
Six points off the pace of surprise Group A leaders Czech Republic, Clockwork Orange are odds-on at 8/15 to take a vital three points from this tussle.
The last two times these teams faced each other, the flying Dutchmen downed Turkey both home and away during World Cup qualifying. However, under Louis van Gaal, the Netherlands were a different, and much more formidable, beast.
Galatasaray playmaker Wesley Sneijder (2/1 in the anytime market) grabbed a goal against the Crescent-Moons over those two games and, in the absence of sidelined Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie, is expected to lead the way again.
Speaking recently, the Turkey-based talent told press: “We can also get a good result without Arjen and Robin. Although you don’t need a degree in maths to know that their absence is a bit of a blow.
“I don’t feel any extra pressure because of their absence, but there is some added responsibility. It will now be up to Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Nigel de Jong and myself to support the younger players.”
Without the experienced attackers, Hiddink has the chance to freshen up his forward line with several young Dutch fledglings.
Challenging Schalke hitman Huntelaar (5/1 to bag a brace or better) for a spot up top will be brilliant Bas Dost, who has taken the Bundesliga by storm with Wolfsburg after striking 16 times, and is 5/1 to deliver the final blow on his bow.
Eredivisie sensation, and apparent Manchester United target, Memphis Depay should retain his starting spot out wide, and is the same price to dazzle Fatih Terim’s team by striking first. PSV partner in crime Luuk de Jong, on 21 for the term, is also a dangerman at 5/4 in the anytime market.
With Clockwork Orange having triumphed in their last 19 competitive home clashes, and leading the head-to-head record over Turkey with five wins to one, Terim faces a tough task at Amsterdam Arena.
Sitting fourth in Pool A, the Comeback Kings can leapfrog their hosts with victory, and are 11/2 to do so after losing just one of their past five away.
Sneijder’s Gala clubmate Burak Yilmaz bagged a brace last time out for Turkey, and is 20/1 to score two or more again. Fellow Aslan attacker Umut Bulut is 7/2 to trouble Clockwork Orange anytime, while Colin Kazim-Richards is also a shout at 6/1, following his Feyenoord heroics.