Wednesday 16th June, Euro 2020: 4/1 Turkey vs Wales Bet Builder
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The first round of matches have now been completed and we now move on to game 2 of the group stages. Turkey were bitterly disappointing on the opening night of the tournament, losing 3-0 to Italy in Rome and were thoroughly outplayed throughout. The Dragons fared far better and will be pleased to have earned a point in their 1-1 draw against Switzerland. The Crescent-Stars were backed as the tournament dark horses by many, but they failed to turn up against Italy in the opening game and know they must get a result this afternoon to have any hope of qualification. They will likely be heavily supported in Baku with the countries not too far apart and they will have the majority of the support within what is otherwise a neutral ground. The Welsh know a win here will all but guarantee qualification through to the last 16 and I am expecting a tight and nervy game in the Azerbaijani capital this afternoon.
Turkey XI: Cakir; Celik, Demiral, Soyuncu; Meras; Under, Yazici, Yokuslu, Kahveci, Calhanoglu; Yilmaz
Wales XI: Ward; Roberts, Mepham, Rodon, Davies; Allen, Morrell; Bale, Ramsey, James; Moore
Shots & shots on target predictions
As I mentioned in the match preview, I am expecting quite a tight and tense affair here given what is at stake for both sides. Set pieces could prove vitally important as could moments of magic from individual players. For the Welsh there is only really one man to look to for a moment of magic and that is of course Gareth Bale. The Welsh skipper was relatively quiet against the Swiss but I expect he will burst in to life at some point and there is no better time than against a Turkey side who will likely be lacking in confidence. He will be of course on both free-kicks and penalties should Wales get one and I fancy him to get at least one shot on target this afternoon.
Similar sort of thinking with my selection from Turkey too. I feel that this will be a tight and turgid game and will likely be decided by a set-piece or moment of individual brilliance. Hakan Calhanoglu will be the man on free-kicks for Turkey and no doubt he is one of the best from dead balls around Europe. He has scored 16 direct free kicks to date in his senior career and is very consistent with an absolute wand of a right foot. He averages 0.64 shots on target per game and looks as good a shout as any to get a shot on target in Baku this afternoon.
This has potential to be quite a dirty game given what is at stake and with both sides in desperate need of a result. The Turks have potential of becoming undisciplined, especially if they go behind as we have seen on many occasions both in the Turkish SuperLig and for the national team. Yokuslu is always a good shout given his role as destroyer within the team and his history of bookings both in England with West Brom and in Spain with Celta Vigo. Burak Yilmaz has a real temper too and as captain I could see him becoming overly engrossed in the role and potentially picking up a booking. Rather than pick out a specific player to be booked however I quite like the look of the Turks to pick up over 1.5 cards here. In competitive games over the past year they average comfortably over 2 cards per game. With this a huge game for them and spurred on by what will likely be a majority home crowd they are going to be very fired up and I don’t think they will have too many issues in picking up a couple of cards this afternoon.
Not expecting a classic here by any means and feel both teams will be nervous and look to stay solid and organised for the most part. Turkey will surely play better than they did in Rome and I feel their squad generally has more quality than the Welsh. They will also be spurred on by a predominately home crowd in Baku and feel will seal a slim 1-0 victory here.