Turkey vs Croatia by Isaiah
Turkey reached to their fourth participation in the finals of the European Championship with main weapon their coach, Fatih Terim. They were in a difficult group where they finished third with 18 points behind the first Czech and second placed Iceland, but they qualified as the third best team. For sure a big surprise was that they left outside Netherlands who were finished fourth.
During the preparation for the Euro, Turkey played three friendlies. They lost from England 2-1, but two wins followed with the same score (1-0) against Montenegro and Slovenia. Both these teams are not something special and it seemed clear that the Turks have a problem in scoring. For this reason the intention of Fatih Terim to line up his team with defensive guidelines is obvious.
No doubt that they are in a difficult group, but if they will not succeed at least for the third position, it will be a failure, even if they do not have in their ranks the stars of the past. Top footballers are Arda Turan of Barcelona and Nuri Sahin of Dortmund, Turks expecting a lot from both.
The fact is that Fatih Terim has big experience, he already played a Euro, he led the Turks to the semi-finals in 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, and was their coach in England twenty years ago. Good news that they do not face problems, and having all 23 players chosen available.
Croatia is participating to a Euro for the fifth time in their history. They were absents only at 2000 to the stadiums of Holland and Belgium. Eight years ago they were eliminated on penalties by Turkey after a thrilling match.
In the qualifying phase they participated in the eighth group where they finished in second place with twenty points, recording six wins, three draws and just one defeat. It is worth noting that they were deducted a point due to the racist behavior of their fans to the home game against Italy. Anyway, they managed to leave one point behind third placed Norway.
They played two friendly games before the Euro, and won both of them, Moldova 1:0 and San Marino 10:0. The roster is very competitive and especially in midfield they are very strong with Modric and Rakitic. Striker Duje Cop (Malaga) is suspended, but there are no other problems, with all big stars at the disposal of the coach.
- Croatia have kept a clean sheet in their last 3 matches against Turkey
Sure this will be a close close game, but I think that the first option is Croatia win. They have a better roster from Turkey and players in midfeld and attack that can make the difference.