Senol Gunes, Turkey
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Emre Sarigul’s Turkey v Wales preview: expect a strong response from Gunes’ men

| 12.06.2021
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Our Matchday Squad journalist will be covering Turkey throughout Euro 2020

Turkey could not have got off to a worse start if they tried. They simply did not turn up against Italy who thoroughly deserved their 3-0 victory. But here is the thing. I know this team is capable of more.

I saw it when they took four points off France and more recently when they beat Netherlands and Norway. You can’t write off a team after one bad performance. It happens. And failure can be a great teacher. If Turkey do use their opening day humiliation as fuel to rally together and motivate themselves it could be a source of strength.

Senol Gunes will make a few changes to the team heading into the Wales clash. I would not be surprised to see Ozan Kabak who spent half the season on loan at Liverpool fill in for Merih Demiral. Kabak is faster than Demiral and better on the ball. Gunes will have to opt for a more attacking setup and play a higher line which would suit Kabak better.

Additionally, Cengiz Under will likely start ahead of Yusuf Yazici. He brings pace, creativity and flair to the attack; all which were lacking against Italy. Yazici was brilliant for Ligue 1 champions Lille this season but he is a similar player to Hakan Calhanoglu. I expect him to be rotated with Calhanoglu at some stage. Okay Yokuslu could get the cut for a more creative midfield option like Irfan Can Kahveci, Dorukhan Tokoz. Turkey usually play a 4-2-3-1 lineup but Gunes has used a 4-3-3 at times and I think he may look to shake things up.

As bad as Turkey were against Italy I know this team can perform when they put their minds to it. Being underestimated could play into their hands. They’ve been written off but I think it is a tad too early to that just yet. I expect a strong response on Wednesday.

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Author

Emre Sarigul

Emre Sarigul is a Turkish football expert and founder of Turkish-Football.com, the largest English language-based site dedicated to football in Turkey.

The football journalist has worked on projects with the Guardian, FIFA, BBC, Al Jazeera, Turkish Football Federation, ESPN and numerous others.