Euro 2016 qualifiers: Turkey tackle Czech Republic in vital Group A tussle
Fatih Terim’s Turkey team head into their final two Euro 2016 qualifying fixtures with their potential third place play-off fate in the balance, and a trip to the Czech Republic is the first tough tussle.
This duel is essentially a must win to keep the Netherlands, who face pool bottom-dwellers Kazakhstan, at bay and prevent their France finals future really going down to the wire, so the Turks are 9/5 with Coral to triumph.
In the Comeback King’s favour, hosts the Czechs have already secured automatic qualification, although the scuffle to be crowned group winner is still very much in play, so the Central European side will not be expected to rest on their laurels.
A draw at 23/10 would not be devastating for the Crescent Moons but, with an impressive Iceland outfit their final fray, Turkey should really be going for the jugular in this one.
The gateway country to Asia illustrated just what attacking intent they are capable of last time out, as they dismantled the Dutch 3-0 on home soil.
Still in the race to be Pool A’s top poacher, Galatasaray goal machine Burak Yilmaz was on the scoresheet in that dust-up with the Dutchmen and is 11/2 to dispatch last here, or 8/1 to bag a brace or better.
Of course, talismanic captain and recent Barcelona buy Arda Turan is Turkey’s star player. The superb skipper also struck last time out, and two goals plus one assist in four career games against the Czechs mean he is a tempting punt to prove instrumental again. Odds of 16/5 are sublime for Turan to strike anytime, but he could be prove most profitable to lead by example at 9/1 to notch the opener.
Talented Turan recently spoke bullishly of his side’s chances, stating: “We are heading for an important turnaround. Our country and the team really need the European Championship. Hopefully, we will get there.
“This is something within our reach. No team [in the group] is superior to us…and you may rest assured that we will get what we deserve.”
Not to be discounted, the Czech Republic (13/8 for all three points) have lost just one game in qualifying and already squeezed past Turkey 2-1 on the road in the reverse.
Top Czech qualifying scorers and Sparta Prague pair Borek Dockal (5/2 to fire home anytime) and Milan Skoda (23/10) bring bags of potency, while cool and composed captain Petr Cech is 19/10 to spoil Turkey’s party and keep a clean sheet.
Betting tip: Turan is terrific at 9/1 to net first