Euro 2016 Group D: Turkey to Czech out of tournament in goal glut
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | June 19, 2016
Czech Republic v Turkey
- Euro 2016 Group C
- Tuesday, June 21st
- Kick-off: 20:00 BST
- Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens
- Live on ITV4
Terim facing Czech mate
The Czech Republic have put two goals past Turkey in four of their last six meetings, and that makes odds of 11/8 with Coral for them to score as many or more again tempting ahead of their Euro 2016 Group D showdown.
One or possibly both of these teams could bow out of the tournament, especially if this contest is drawn (5/2), though the Czechs are now 11/8 match favourites ahead of Fatih Terim’s Crescent-Stars, who know only a win is enough to keep them in the hunt for progression at 19/10.
Pavel Vrba’s team have lost some midfield verve with sick note skipper Tomas Rosicky out of the Euros, but this presents the chance to make changes that incorporate younger, less injury-prone legs into the Czech XI.
Krejci could be key
It is to be hoped that Borek Dockal, top scorer in qualifying, is recalled following Rosicky’s latest spell on the treatment table, as he got the winner in Istanbul when the Czech Republic beat the Turks in qualifying.
One away victory apiece en route to the Euro 2016 finals doesn’t shed much light on things, but if not Dockal (11/4 to net again anytime) then fellow winger Ladislav Krejci is another to have netted in this fixture before.
Sparta Prague player Krejci continues to develop apace, and his young legs at 23 will be a test for that makeshift Turkish defence exposed so often against Spain. Although shorter than Dockal, Krejci is still a tempting 2/1 chance.
Vrba’s other selection call is who to lead the Czech attack with Milan Skoda and Tomas Necid coming off the bench to score the goals that rescued a draw with Croatia. Both are equal 7/4 chances to net again, alongside David Lafata, who has a strike against Turkey on his CV.
Turan desires Turkish delight
If recent meetings are any indicator, then both teams are vulnerable to goal threats from the flanks. Chief among those for Terim’s charges is Crescent-Stars captain Arda Turan.
With two goals in five caps against the Czech Republic, Turan should tear it up and remind Barcelona he is a talent worthy of more than sitting on the bench.
Superb 7/2 odds say Turan will take a chance and net anytime. Turkey are yet to score at the Euros, though, but fellow wideman Hakan Calhanoglu offers a dual threat.
Taking free-kicks with some distinction for Bayer Leverkusen this term, Calhanoglu also grabbed a goal against England before the tournament. He is a tempting 2/1 chance to score again anytime, having also put one past the Czechs in qualifying.
Both sides must go for broke
All but two of the eight meetings since the Czech Republic dissolved its union with Slovakia have contained three goals or more. Couple this with the fact that both Vrba and Terim have to try and win to ensure a third-place finish, and the net should bulge regularly.
It’s the lack of natural central defenders selected in Turkish ranks that remains their weak spot. Terim is well within his right to rely on players who served him well at Euro 2008 in that crazy Crescent-Stars run to the semis, but Hakan Balta was a left back and Mehmet Topal a midfield shield.
Based on that, it’s the Czech Republic that look worth siding with as 3/1 chances to win and the match total to be over 2.5 goals.