EURO 2024 PREVIEW

AUTHOR: Lewis Williams

EURO 2024 PREVIEW Tues: Turkey v Georgia

The city of Dortmund plays host to the opening day of the final group yet to play a match as Turkey take on EURO debutants Georgia, writes LEWIS WILLIAMS.

After being denied a trip to Qatar by Portugal in the last chance playoffs and finishing last in their group at Euro 2020 with no points and a single goal to their name, the Turks surely have a point to prove.

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However, in Juventus 19 year old starboy Kanan Yildiz playing on the left alongside top Galatasaray forward Baris Yilmaz, there is some top talent and this could be the start of a new dawn for Turkish football. Thatโ€™s without mentioning both top midfielders that this Turkish team have to call back on in the shape of Inter anchor Hakan Calhanoglu who had just had a career defining season with 13 goals in 32 games in Serie A, and Orkun Kokcu who had 15 goal contributions in 27 matches in his debut Benfica season.

They topped their group in qualifying with just one loss from 8 against Croatia, and held a Wales side that looked very good at the time to a 1-1 draw in Cardiff when having more of the ball. They are odds on to get through this group despite opposition like Czech Republic and Portugal but a dominant win against bottom feeders Georgia may be the difference maker for that all important qualification spot – even with the new format considered.

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Turkey v Georgia
UEFA EURO 2024 Group F
17:00 Amazon Prime Video / BBC One / BBC Sport

LAST FIVE STATS

HEAD-TO-HEAD
MAY 2012 FRIENDLY Georgia 1-3 Turkey
FEB 2007 FRIENDLY Goergia 1-0 Turkey
MAR 2005 WORLD CUP QUALIFIER Georgia 2-5 Turkey

TURKEY
JUN 2024 FRIENDLY Poland 2-1 Turkey
JUN 2024 FRIENDLY Italy 0-0 Turkey
MAR 2024 FRIENDLY Austria 6-1 Turkey
MAR 2024 FRIENDLY Hungary 1-0 Turkey
NOV 2023 EURO QUALIFIER Wales 1-1 Turkey

GEORGIA
JUN 2024 FRIENDLY Montenegro 1-3 Georgia
MAR 2024 EURO QUALIFIER Georgia (p)1-0 Greece
MAR 2024 EURO QUALIFIER Georgia 2-0 Luxembourg
NOV 2023 EURO QUALIFIER Spain 3-1 Georgia
NOV 2023 EURO QUALIFIER Georgia 2-2 Scotland

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The aforementioned individualistic talent within the Turkish side is in stark contrast to the ammunition of Georgia where manager Willy Sagnol has the Napoli star forward Kvaratskhelia to look to but apart from that supernova in a squad without any champagne, their fate will be reliant on players from central European clubs outside the Uefa system.

With that said, they put on performances in qualification against the likes of Spain, to whom they held to a draw in the first half before losing 3-1, as well as overcoming Greece in penalties to earn a flight to Germany.

With virtually no backline of any notable worth barring the Valencia goalkeeper on the baseline, I expect the โ€œYilโ€ duo to run rings around a Georgian side at their first ever major tournament thanks to the technicality of a โ€œgoodโ€ performance in the Nations League topping a less than exciting group containing Gibralter, North Macedonia, and Bulgaria. Despite a poor run in friendlies lately, I expect early fireworks from Turkey and Iโ€™m backing them to score in both halves at a fair ? with starsports.bet.


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PROFIT/LOSS (EURO 2024): -11.59 POINTS


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