Turkey vs Czech Republic – Saturday’s international friendly between Turkey and the Czech Republic will want to close 2022 on a high note. The Crescent-Stars beat Scotland 2-1 on Wednesday, while their guests beat the Faroe Islands 5-0.
Ozan Kabak has been quiet in the Premier League, but the 22-year-old has been scoring goals for Hoffenheim and continued that trend in Turkey’s 2-1 win over Scotland.
The former Liverpool and Norwich City defender scored before halftime, and Cengiz Under extended his team’s lead four minutes after the restart. John McGinn made things interesting with 30 minutes left to play.
McGinn’s goal was simply a consolation as Stefan Kuntz won his fifth match in command of Turkey. Turkey has recovered well after losing to Luxembourg and the Faroe Islands in their final two Nations League games.
The Crescent-Stars won’t be in Qatar 2022, but they have been significantly involved in World Cup debate, with predictions already made on which team will be this winter’s ‘Turkey at Euro 2020’ and perform poorly.
Kuntz’s side faces Croatia, Wales, Latvia, and Armenia in qualifying next year, but scoring more than two goals per game on average during his brief time in charge is a guaranteed prescription for success.
The Czech Republic defeated the Faroe Islands 5-0 in a midweek friendly, two months after Turkey lost 2-1 to them in the Nations League.
Mojmir Chytil scored a hat trick on his debut for the national squad before Vaclav Cerny and Patrizio Stronati added the finishing touches.
Such an impressive win was the right way for Jaroslav Silhavy’s side to respond to their Nations League relegation, albeit few predicted the Czechs would beat Switzerland, Portugal, and Spain after just one year in League A.
The Czech Republic haven’t qualified for the World Cup since 2006, but they’ve made every Euros as an independent nation. They’ll face Poland, Moldova, Albania, and the Faroe Islands in qualifying for 2024.
The visitors haven’t lost in five friendlies, although they’ve lost their last two to Turkey, most recently at Euro 2016.
Turkey vs Czech Republic – Betting Analysis
Ferdi Kadioglu was replaced in the first half with a back injury after trying to shrug it off, and Eren Elmali should deputize on the left for the hosts this week. Kuntz also brought Feyenoord prodigy Orkun Kokcu out at halftime on Wednesday, although the move was tactical.
Kuntz should not be averse to putting out another solid lineup here, but Salih Ozcan and Kerem Akturkoglu are useful rotation alternatives.
The Czech Republic did not receive any new injuries in their win against the Faroe Islands, but star scorer Patrik Schick has not joined the team.
Schick’s Bayer Leverkusen teammate Adam Hlozek was not allowed leave from domestic duty to participate in November’s friendlies, and Slavia Prague and Sparta Prague players are still with their club teams owing to Czech Cup matches.
Inexperienced internationals will play at the Gaziantep Stadium, although Tomas Soucek and Alex Kral should be in midfield.
Despite losing two of their most potent attackers, the Czech Republic still has international nous in midfield and defense, and Chytil’s confidence is strong after a triple.
Full-strength Turkey, under Kuntz, is a different kettle of fish than the Faroe Islands, and we can only see the Crescent-Stars winning.
Turkey vs Czech Republic – Head-to-Head
Our Prediction: Over 1.5 Goals