Euro 2016 qualifiers: Turkey need just a point to pip Dutch to play-offs
It really has come down to the wire in Euro 2016 qualifying Group A for a play-off place, with Turkey and the Netherlands the two nations in question as they bid to make the France finals next summer.
Danny Blind’s Dutch are seriously facing the prospect of not reaching a major tournament for the first time since the 2002 World Cup, while they last failed to make it to a European Championship all the way back in 1984 – which was ironically also held in France.
They Netherlands are two points behind Turkey, and their final fixture is at home to the Czech Republic, who have already qualified, whereas the Crescent Stars host table toppers Iceland.
Clockwork Orange’s negative head-to-head record with Turkey this campaign, having lost and drawn to them, will work against them, meaning the latter need just a point, which they are 3/1 with Coral to do.
Fatih Terim’s men will know that their destiny in in their hands, but they face a team they have beaten just once in eight total meetings. They also lost to Iceland 3-0 in the reverse fixture, but are the odds-on favourites at 4/7 to claim their fifth win of the Group A qualifiers.
Turkey will be hoping that star striker Burak Yilmaz can add to his four goals this campaign, and the Galatasaray player, who netted last in the 3-0 victory against the Netherlands, is 7/2 to round the scoring off again. He is odds-on at 10/11 in the anytime market.
The hosts will have to look out for in-form Gylfi Sigurdsson, however, with the Swansea City attacking midfielder being leading group marksman with six so far. Sigurdsson also scored in the reverse fixture, so is a tempting 5/1 shout to net anytime.
For the Dutch, they crucially won last time out in Kazakhstan 2-1, for just their 13th point in nine games, thanks to goals from midfielders Georginio Wijnaldum (11/4) and Wesley Sneijder (15/8).
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, perhaps controversially picked ahead of Robin van Persie in that match, though, has Clockwork Orange’s most strikes this campaign with four, and is odds-on at 10/11 to net again. But the former Manchester United frontman is 4/1 to come on and score last.
While the Czech Republic (13/2 match chances) have already reached the France finals, they will not go easy on their upcoming hosts as they will want to leapfrog Iceland into first place.
One hope for Blind’s boys is that the visitors will be without their leading marksmen this campaign, the suspended Borek Dockal and Vaclav Pilar. Late-blooming Slavia Prague striker Milan Skoda, though, is 4/1 to score anytime.
The Netherlands are odds-on favourites at 1/2 to beat the Czechs in front of a nervous home crowd at the Amsterdam Arena, but as stated above that may not be enough for them to qualify.
Coral’s top tip: With Turkey needing just a draw to qualify at home to Iceland, back them at 3/1 to do so.