Saturday 22 October 2016

Euro 2016 team-by-team guide: Everything you need to know Turkey

Published 09/05/2016 | 18:30

Turkey's National Football Team players celebrate their victory over Iceland during the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying round Group A soccer match at Torku Arena in Konya
Turkey's National Football Team players celebrate their victory over Iceland during the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying round Group A soccer match at Torku Arena in Konya

Kevin Palmer gives us the lowdown on the Turkey.

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Odds: 80/1

Group D fixtures

  • June 12th: Croatia in Paris
  • June 17th: Spain in Nice
  • June 21st: Czech Republic in Lens

COACH: Fatih Terim

In his third stint as Turkey coach, this battle-hardened motivator is in the midst of his third stint as national team boss. In fact, it somehow feels as if the Turkish national team is lacking a piece when this former national team defender is not patrolling the touchline, such is his familiarity with this role.

Turkey’s lofty FIFA ranking confirms they deserve to be respected this summer, with their 4-5-1 formation offering them a stability that needs to have attacking menace in tandem. Having previously coached Fiorentina and Milan in Italy and won the 2000 UEFA Cup with Turkish side Galatasaray, there is no doubting his experience to handle major tournament football. This will be his fourth tournament as Turkey boss having previously managed turkey at Euro 96, the 2006 World Cup and guiding the Turks to the Euro 2008 semi-finals.

STAR MAN: Arda Turan (Barcelona)

This classy midfielder has his pick of teams to join when he opted to leave Atletico Madrid last summer, yet his decision to sign for Barcelona meant he would not be able to play competitive football until their transfer embargo was lifted in January.

A €34m move to the Nou Camp always came with risk for Turan as he knew he would face a scrap to get to get into the Barca side and already there are suggestions that his is disillusioned with his but part role in their side and may be looking for another transfer this summer.

Such is his status in the Turkey side that he will remain the kingpin of their team at Euro 2016, with the team captain expected to dictate the tempo of his in-form team.

LOOK OUT FOR: Hakan Calhanoglu (Bayer Leverkusen)

At the age of 22, Calhanoglu has established himself as a key figure in the Turkey side, with his fine form in the German Bundesliga cementing his reputation as one of the rising stars of the European game.

This German-born midfielder could have played for the country of his birth, yet he was quick to declare for Turkey and played for their junior teams before being handed a chance to make a mark at senior level in 2013. Compared by his admirers to Germany and Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, he is a big threat from free-kicks and could sprinkle his magic on Euro 2016 with set-plays around the box.

WILD CARD: Oguzhan Ozyakup (Besiktas)

On the books at Arsenal in his formative days, this Dutch-born midfielder failed a make a breakthrough into Arsene Wenger’s side and was forced to move on in a bid to further his career.

Now 23, he has matured into a threatening attacking midfielder who has proved to be a potent weapon for club and country. His goal in the crucial Euro 2016 qualifier against Holland last September was crucial in securing automatic qualification for the tournament and he has a chance to add to his reputation in France.

VERDICT: Optimism is high in Turkey that the team led by Terim and inspired by Turan and a host of gifted young performer could emerge from the pack as dark horses to make a long run at Euro 2016.

Ensuring their goal threat is potent enough may be pivotal to their hopes of success as while most aspects of their side is strong, there are some doubts over a side that scored just 14 goals in their 10 qualifying matches. If they click, Turkey could aim to make the quarter-finals.

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