Turkey v Croatia Match Preview

Competition: UEFA Euro 2016
Fixture: Turkey v Croatia
Date: Saturday, June 12, 2016
Venue: Parc des Princes, Paris
Kick off time: 1 pm GMT

Croatia and Turkey will resume their international football rivalry when they take each other on in their respective opening fixtures of the UEFA Euro 2016. They say some wounds takes time to heal, well Croatia will certainly remember that they were eliminated from the UEFA Euro 2008 by Turkey in the quarterfinals. They did seek revenge by convincingly hammering Turkey 3-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 play-offs.

This game promises to be a feisty affair with both sides wanting to prove that they are better than the other.

Turkey’s form: W-W-L-W-W

Turkey come into this competition in fine form. They finished the qualifying campaign like it was a breeze. Given that four teams have a chance of qualifying even after finishing third in their group, Turkey has a brilliant chance of doing just that. According to many, this game is of major consequence. Given that Spain is a part of the group, in all likelihood they will finish top. It will be either one from this match who has a chance of finishing second. A win in this game will certainly make it easier.

Turkey usually use the width of the pitch to their advantage. They have over the recent past sought to play a 4-3-3 with fast and tricky wingers that cut inside and add firepower to the strike force. They will however find it hard given that their first choice forward, Cenk Tosun is in all probability, one cut below his counter parts from other teams in the group.

This will be their first appearance in an internationals finals after a long eight year gap. They will need top players like Arda Turan and Burak Yılmaz to step up, lead from the front and possibly even do bulk of the work.

Croatia’s form: W-W-D-W-W

Croatia has a strong team. Many would regard them as tournament dark horses who could very well create a major upset. Give that they missed out last time around, this year they will be setting their sights on to making it out of the group stages and into the knockout rounds. That being said, getting off to a perfect start is essential. How the result of this game mainly depends on the form their star studded midfield that consists of Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic who will look to play it through to Mario Mandzukic.

These big name and big team players have played under massive pressure and will know how to set aside the expectations and perform under the weight of the world.

Croatia more often than not play a 4-2-3-1. This formation will see Rakitic play in an unfamiliar position right behind the striker in the hole. Unfamiliar as he plays in a more defensive position for his club as compared to this. However, with Modric and Perisic on either side, they have a strong attacking combination.

They are quite evidently the second strongest team in the group and a win in this game should just help justify that.

Key Players and Team News:

Turkey: Turan is clearly one of the main players in the Turkish side. Having made a dream move to Barcelona and training on a daily basis with the best in the business, he brings a lot of experience and finesse to the side. You can expect him to lead from the front and chip in with a few goals as well. However, in this particular game, it may seem difficult for him to pull his team through and over the line unless the rest of them strike a perfect cord and play as a unit.

Croatia: Rakitic, this midfield maestro should look to take his excellent club run into the Euros. This season, he won the La Liga title. He scored a total of 9 goals. On the international stage, he has netted 10 goals in 75 appearances. Rakitic is a player who possesses the talent of spotting open spaces and making darting runs into the box hence creating a lot of chances of scoring. He holds the key for Croatia.

Both teams have no injury concerns as of yet and hence we can expect them to play their strongest line-ups.

Betting Advice:

Croatia certainly have the edge in this game. Most of their players are currently part of top clubs playing football at the highest level. Bet365 are offering 23/20 for Croatia to win the game.

A draw between these two teams, which in all honesty is unlikely is placed at 21/10 at Willliam Hill.

Taking into consideration, current form and the line-up, if you are one who likes making bets against the odds, then a win for the Turks is placed at 11/4 at William Hill. After all, everyone loves an upset in football, just ask Leicester City fans.

If you back your abilities to predict a goal scorer, you could think of placing a bet for Mandzukic to find the back of the net. Bet365 have placed a very attractive deal at 8/5 for him to be anytime goal scorer.