Soccer UEFA Euro Qualification - Group Stage
Turkey vs Wales - Match Preview
⚽ 19 June 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Heart rates may have just returned to normal for the Turkey players by the time kick-off comes around against Wales, after a pulsating ending to their 3-2 victory over Latvia. Having conceded a 94th-minute equaliser in Riga, Turkey went straight up the other end to snatch victory and restore control of their UEFA European Championship qualification (ECQ) destiny.
Stefan Kuntz’s men sit top of Group D and find themselves in the midst of a purple patch having won four of their last five matches (L1). Looking to qualify for a third consecutive Euros, the Crescent Stars have been in imperious ECQ form for quite some time, with just two defeats from their last 21 such matches (W14, D5) proving they can be imperious when battling on this front.
However, Wales is an opponent they’ve struggled against historically, most recently being beaten 2-0 by Rob Page’s men at Euro 2020. The situation the Dragons currently find themselves in is a far cry from that glorious day in Baku though, with Friday’s chastening 4-2 defeat at home to Armenia providing a “reality check” to Page’s side.
A first home ECQ loss since March 2011 made it one win from 11 matches since securing qualification for the World Cup last June (D3, L7) as pressure begins to mount on Page. A first H2H on Turkish soil this millennium, therefore, represents a huge challenge for a side who are winless in four away from home (D1, L3), albeit each of those games came against sides currently ranked inside the top 23 in the world, on paper tougher games than a clash with #43 ranked Turkey.
📋 Players to watch: Since the end of the last Euros, Cengiz Ünder has scored seven times, more than any other player for Turkey. Changes may be afoot in the Welsh camp, and that could see Nathan Broadhead handed his first start for the national team - the Ipswich Town forward scored a 93rd-minute equaliser against Croatia on their last away trip.
⚡ Hot stat: Turkey has scored at least twice in each of their last 18 victories.
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