Wales Vs Turkey Preview

Wales are set to take on dark-horses, Turkey in a tricky encounter in Baku. Group A is an extremely competitive group and both sides face an uphill task to qualify to the knockout stages. Both sides were considerably nervy in their opening matches and this could set up an extremely cagey affair. Wales manager, Robert Page will stress the importance to get a positive result in this fixture to his players, as they face Italy in their last group game. The Italians already have one foot in the knockout stages and are one of the favourites for the whole competition. The Red Dragons will likely lose to Italy and therefore they must play this game as if it were a cup final.

Turkey were completely destroyed by Italy and will be looking to put things right against Wales. Striker, Burak Yilmaz had a quiet game against Italy but could have a significant impact on this match. Similarly, Wales’ all time top scorer Gareth Bale also had a quiet game last time out, while winger Daniel James impressed. The Welsh attack will have to be at their counter-attacking best if they are to secure the all important three points in this contest.

Match Facts:

Date: 16th June, Wednesday.

Kick off time: 5 pm (BST)

Referee: Artur Soares Dias

Form Guide:

Wales- W W L D D

Turkey- D W D W L

Recent Form

Wales began their Euro 2020 campaign with a draw against Switzerland. For the majority of the contest they were second best and a draw was an unfair reflection. Throughout the contest, Wales had no tempo or urgency when in possession. Furthermore, when they were defending they had no answer to the direct runs of Switzerland striker Embolo. It is likely that the youthful Welsh defense will have a difficult time handling Yilmaz. Like Embolo, Yilmaz is direct and is a significant aerial threat. Robert Page may consider switching up his approach to deal with the Turkish striker. Despite this, Wales did grow in the second half, in which they put Switzerland under significant pressure. Kiefer Moore’s late header got Wales a point and cancelled out Breel Embolo’s opener.

Turkey, who many pundits labelled as the shock team, did not live up to expectations in their opener against Italy. Although, the Italians have a plethora of playmakers, Turkey had no impact on the game at all. This was surprising, as the youthful Turkey team is often associated with creativity and energy. Moreover, the Turks will be eager to bounce back after their heavy 3-0 defeat by the Azzuri on the opening night. Senol Gunes’ side will be lacking confidence and Page’s men must take full advantage of this.

Team News:

Neither side have any new injuries concerns after their opening fixtures. However, it is likely that there will be changes, as both sides were un-inspiring in their respective games. Robert Page is likely to persist with the same attack, which revolves around the dynamic Bale, James, Moore, Wilson and Ramsey. Despite this, the Red Dragons manager may switch up his personnel to deal with the Turkish threats. The Welsh side are comfortable in both a three and four at the back, so Page may begin with one system and depending on how the action unfolds he may make changes. The Dragon’s have a very youthful side and some of these players will try to break into Page’s plans.

Turkey will again be without top scorer in qualifying, Cenk Tosun. Tosun is missing with a serious knee injury and Yilmaz is expected to lead the line yet again. Premier league stars such as Leicester loanee Cengiz Under will be pushing to start after the Turks put in a dismal display against Italy.

Predicted Lineups:

Wales (4-2-3-1) Ward; Roberts, Mepham, Rodon, Davies; Allen, Morrell; Bale, Ramsey, James; Moore

Turkey (4-5-1) Cakir; Celik, Demiral, Soyuncu, Meras; Under, Yazici, Yokuslu, Kahveci, Calhanoglu; Yilmaz.

Likely Winner:

In their opening fixtures, both sides looked overwhelmed by the occasion and this will set up another close encounter between the sides. Wales need the win more to boost their chances of qualifying, whereas Turkey can fall back on their final fixture against Switzerland. As a result of this Wales are likely to push and press more and this could leave their defense wide-open. The clinical finisher Yilmaz is likely to get on the score-sheet and open his account at the Euros. Although, Page’s men were poor in the final third against Switzerland, the frontline is capable of producing much more. Another set piece goal is also on the cards, when Wilson is inevitably introduced. This will set-up a high scoring draw, which will leave Wales with the task of getting a positive result against the Italians in Rome.

Author: Rajan Sangha

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