Five footballers to look out for in Euro 2016 qualifiers this week
With Euro 2016 qualifying in full swing, Coral’s football experts got thinking about rising stars that could catch the eye over the next couple of days. We came up with five footballers who are set to show plenty of promise.
Hakan Calhanoglu (Turkey)
Having helped Hamburg avoid relegation from the Bundesliga last term by scoring 11 goals, 20-year-old Calhanoglu may be set for a first competitive international start under Fatih Terim. Turkey take on Iceland away, and this player, adept in the number 10 role as well as on the wing, is 13/5 to score anytime.
Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands)
Injury to Ron Vlaar and a red card for Bruno Martins Indi in the Netherlands’ last outing means Clockwork Orange coach Guus Hiddink has handed a maiden senior Dutch call-up to highly-rated Celtic centre half Van Dijk, 23. Odds of 31/20 say he can help his country to keep a clean sheet in the Czech Republic.
Munir El Haddadi (Spain)
Barcelona academy graduate El Haddadi recently scored his first La Liga goal, and Spain national boss Vicente del Bosque gave him a call to cover Diego Costa’s injury for the Macedonia game. The 19-year-old, who wears Munir on the back of his shirt for Barca, is a 7/2 chance to score last, with an impact sub role in place of fellow young forward Paco Alcacer likely.
Pajtim Kasami (Switzerland)
Who can forget that over the shoulder volley, in the best Marco van Basten tradition, that former Fulham attacking midfielder Kasami scored against Crystal Palace last season? He has since moved on to Greek champions Olympiakos, but could come back to haunt England as the Swiss host them in Basel. Kasami, 22, is a 6/1 shot to net anytime against the Three Lions.
Simone Zaza (Italy)
Sassuolo forward Zaza got a surprise call-up from new Azzurri coach Antonio Conte, who purchased some of the player’s ownership rights last season when in charge of Juventus. Having brought him into the fold, the Italy boss had no qualms about handing the 23-year-old a senior international debut off the bench against Netherlands.
Conte favours a 3-5-2 formation, meaning he could pair this player with Ciro Immobile up top in the absence of Mario Balotelli. Odds of 5/4 say Zaza will break his duck for his country against Norway.