In order to stand a chance against the holders Spain who defeated Czech Republic in the first round, Turkey will need to make their midfield play.
Spain will try to secure their qualification, while Turkey are looking for their first points in Nice.
Turkey’s optimism vanished after the match against Croatia, as they now require a win against Spain in order to get back on track. Surely, a meeting against the Czechs in the last round will provide somewhat easier opponent, but Turkey could be in a devastating mood by then, and it’s up to performance in this clash to prove otherwise.
One thing is certain – Turkey need their captain Arda Turan to spring into action if they are to have a realistic chance of upsetting Spain as he was really off the pace in the first game (understituted after 65 minutes) – the Barcelona player produced very little in attack and not much in the way of tracking back either as Croatia overran the Turkish midfield. He later apologised to the Turkish public, acknowledging that he had played badly.
Turkey will need the most of their midfield in this meeting, as Spain are very well know to be dominant in that area of the pich – proven in their victory over the Czechs.
Vicente Del Bosque’s side managed to pick up 3 points in that meeting only thanks to the Pique’s late goal when he rose at the back post to head in Andres Iniesta’s cross after 87 minutes. The assist for Iniesta was the icing on the cake of an exceptional performance where he effortlessly took over the midfield.
Del Bosque went with Alvaro Morata up front, who didn’t have the best of matches. Nolito was deployed on the left-wing and also left a lot of room for improvement. David De Gea is expected to remain in goal for the match, having seemingly secured his role as Spain’s number 1.
Head to Head:
Turkey have only registered one win in 10 games against Spain (D4 L5). That sole win came in Istanbul on 14th March 1954; 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier. Spain have conceded only one goal in their last six matches versus Turkey, however that goal did come in their last meeting (2009 – 2-1). This will be the first time that Spain have faced Turkey in the finals of a major tournament.
Vicente Del Bosque will probably field the same eleven as against Czech Republic. Thiago Alcantara could maybe replace Fabregas, but it’s not certain at this point.
Sen and Yilmaz could enter the starting lineup for Turkey as Fatih Terim certainly wasn’t pleased from what he saw from his team against Croatia. Emre Mor is probably to continue to be the late impact understitution.
Spain: De Gea; Juanfran, Pique, Ramos, Alba; Busquets, Cesc, Iniesta; Silva, Nolito, Morata.
Turkey: Babacan, Gönül, Topal, Balta, Erkin, İnan, Şen, Çalhanoğlu, Özyakup, Turan, Yılmaz.