Following the hype and excitement surrounding Turkey in the build up to the European Championships, the spark regrettably hasn’t been ignited for Fatih Terim’s team; as they approach their final group stage game, bottom of the table with no points from their previous two games. They face their biggest challenge against a spirited Czech Republic team, tomorrow.
Turkey’s chances in the tournament are all but over, as they suffered their second defeat to the cup holders, Spain, after were beaten down by a quick Spanish ambush of three goals in fourteen minutes. It was a spineless Turkish performance, which was highlighted by their ever strong support who booed the team off the pitch when the final whistle was blown. The high spirited and determined side of 2008 is a distant memory, as the Turks are now left floundering in a pit of their own faults.
Czech Republic, on the other hand have it all to play for in the final match of the group; as they sit just below the barrier of qualifying as one of the four best third-placed finishers. In their last game, the Czech’s battled out for a point in an emphatic game in which they drew 2-2 with Croatia
The game was overshadowed by some unfortunate action in the stands, causing a delay in the game. However, the Czech’s didn’t lose their focus, as Tomas Necid converted a last-gasp penalty to equal things up before the final whistle.
There has been no reported injuries from the Turkish camp in the build up to the game, however, Terim may look to shake his team up, especially following the fan disposal of team captain, Arda Turan, following his particularly displeasing performances throughout the competition.
Sadly, for the Czech’s, captain and midfield metronome, Tomas Rosicky will not feature due to a hamstring injury that he sustained in their previous game. A big blow.
Turkey predicted line-up: (4-3-3) Babacan; Gönül, Topal, Balta, Erkin; Tufan, İnan, Özyakup; Çalhanoğlu, Yılmaz, Turan.
Czech Republic predicted line-up: (4-2-3-1) Čech; Kadeřábek, Sivok, Hubník, Limberský; Plašil, Darida; Skalák, Dočkal, Krejčí; Lafat
It’s been a difficult and disappointing campaign for Turkey, and Terim’s team will be eager to end on a high. However it won’t be easy and the Czech’s will carry their late goal buzz with them, a feeling that Turkey know all too well.