Turkey vs Kosovo by Isaiah
Turkey is far away from desired form and results and this game comes probably as a last wake up call before the game is over for the Turks regarding their promotion to the World Cup 2018. However, must be said that they have pretty difficult first three matches, but still managed to take a point away to Croatia and get another point in a home match against Ukraine but suffered defeat in the most recent game against Iceland away from home 2:0.
Ball possession was equally shared between the opponents, but hosts were way more dangerous with the ball to their feet and simply created better chances during the whole game. Additionally they used lack of concentration from the visiting side in last moments of the first halftime and sealed the victory with two quick goals, in 42nd minute with an own goal from Toprak and two minutes later via Finnbogason. Turks have now only two points out of three matches, which puts them only at fourth position at the table, with five points less than first and second placed Croatia and Iceland, meaning that this match is completely a must win one.
In comparison to previous few matches, Turks will be without defenders Caner Erkin (51/2), Hakan Balta (50/2), midfielders Nuri Sahin (50/2), Ozan Tufan (31/3) and forward Mevlut Erdinc (35/8).
Kosovo, on the other side, is having their first participation at international scene and even though the team has some quality and potential, it was anyway hard for them to expect to make some bigger impact in such a difficult group. After three rounds played, the team has one draw earned away from home in Finland, while they suffered easy defeats against Croatia and Ukraine.
Their last official match was on neutral local against Ukraine and the team got outplayed with goals from Kravets in 31st and two late goals, in 81st via Yarmolenko and six minutes later by experienced Rotan. Apart from their good performance away to Finland where they maybe even deserved the three pointer, team didn't show many impressive things in next two in offensive part of the game. Kosovo won't be counting at defender Bajram Jashanica (3/0), Lum Rexhepi (3/0), Sadiku (4/0), midfielder Bersant Celina (5/1) and forwards Mergin Brahimi (2/2), Elbasan Rashani (2/2).
These two teams already met once when the Turks have won 6:1 in Kosovo. I might not be expecting very same result, but there's no reason for the game to be anything close to a defensive one. Nations are quite friendly, it's first time Kosovo visits Turkey and something similar to a festive atmosphere including goals wouldn't be a surprise at all for me.