Turkey Euro 2020: Squad News, Fixtures, Schedules, Key players, Head Coach and Predictions
Turkey Euro 2020: Squad News, Fixtures, Schedules, Key players, Head Coach and Predictions

Turkey have named their final 26-man squad for Euro 2020 this summer.

Liverpool’s Ozan Kabak and Leicester’s Caglar Soyuncu will be key players in defence while Cengiz Under will feature in attack.

Turkey will play the opening game of the tournament against Italy on June 11.

Turkey Euro 2020 Overview

From one unpredictable team to another, albeit for the good reasons this time, we move towards Turkey. The Crescent-Stars have the tendency of being the surprise package at a big tournament every now and then, having reached the semi-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup while also going through to the latter stages at the UEFA Euro 2000 and Euro 2008, where they won the bronze medal.

At the helm currently is Senol Gunes, who famously oversaw the run to the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup. Under the tutelage of the 68-year-old, Turkey have been a solid unit that is extremely hard to beat, which is illustrated by the fact that they have been beaten just thrice in 25 games since he took charge in 2019.

There have been quite a few notable wins during these last couple of years as well, including two this year, over Netherlands and Norway to kick-start their FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign. As far the Qualifiers for Euro 2020 is concerned, Turkey surprised France by claiming four points against them before narrowly missing out on the top spot in their group.

Thereofre, going into the group stages of the finals this summer, Turkey are certainly a team that can spring a surprise or two and perhaps, even go a little deep into the tournament. With a healthy mix of youth and experience at the disposal of Gunes, one can definitely expect some sprightly performances from the Crescent-Stars.

Turkey Squad for UEFA Euro 2020, 3 Key players to watch out for

Merih Demiral

The 23-year-old centre-back has appeared in 19 matches for Turkey. He has also played 21 matches for top Serie A club Juventus.

Burak Yilmaz

Lille striker Burak Yilmaz has played 66 matches for Turkey, scored 28 goals. He has played also 28 matches for the current Ligue 1 champions. He has played with a number of sides in his football career which includes Galatasaray, Besiktas, Trabzonspor with over 150 goals.

Zeki Celik

Lille right-back Zeki Celik has played 84 matches for the French champions. He has featured in 14 matches for Turkey with a couple of goals.

Turkey Euro 2020 Schedule

Saturday 12 June 2021: Turkey vs Italy

Wednesday 16 June 2021: Turkey vs Wales

Sunday 20 June 2021: Italy vs Wales

Turkey Euro 2020 Fixtures:

vs Italy - June 12 - 12:30 PM IST

vs Wales - June 16 - 9:30 PM IST

vs Switzerland - June 20 - 9:30 PM IST

Where to watch Euro 2020 Turkey fixture in India?

SONY Sports India/ SONY LIV

Group A: Turkey | Italy | Wales | Switzerland

Group B: Denmark | Finland | Belgium | Russia

Group C: Netherlands | Ukraine | Austria | North Macedonia

Group D: England | Croatia | Scotland | Czech Republic

Group E: Spain | Sweden | Poland | Slovakia

Group F: Hungary | Portugal | France | Germany

Turkey Squad for Euro 2020

Turkey coach Senol Gunes has announced his 26-man squad for Euro 2020, with the opening game against Italy, including Hakan Calhanoglu and Merih Demiral.

They are in the same group as Italy, Switzerland and Wales, with the first game kicking off the entire tournament on June 11.

There are several Serie A players in the squad, including Milan midfielder Calhanoglu, Juventus defender Demiral and Sassuolo pair Mert Muldur and Kaan Ayhan.

There is also room for Roma forward Cengiz Under, who spent this season on loan at Leicester City.

Turkey have qualified for 5 out last 7 editions of Euro. They have some key names from English football like Zeki Celik, Burak Yilmaz, Yusuf Yazici and Merih Demiral from Italy’s Serie A. They will face off Italy in their opening round clash, a side who have never lost to Turkey.

Goalkeepers: Mert Günok (İstanbul Başakşehir), Uğurcan Çakır (Trabzonspor), Altay Bayındır (Fenerbahçe), Gökhan Akkan (Rizespor)

Defenders: Zeki Çelik (LOSC Lille), Mert Müldür (Sassuolo), Merih Demiral (Juventus), Ozan Kabak (Liverpool), Çağlar Söyüncü (Leicester), Kaan Ayhan (Sassuolo), Umut Meraş (Le Havre), Rıdvan Yılmaz (Beşiktaş)

Midfielders: Abdülkadir Ömür (Trabzonspor), Cengiz Ünder (Leicester), Efecan Karaca (Alanyaspor), Halil Akbunar (Göztepe), Dorukhan Toköz (Beşiktaş), İrfan Can Kahveci (Fenerbahçe), Mahmut Tekdemir (İstanbul Başakşehir), Okay Yokuşlu (West Brom), Orkun Kökçü (Feyenoord), Ozan Tufan (Fenerbahçe), Taylan Antalyalı (Galatasaray), Hakan Çalhanoğlu (AC Milan), Yusuf Yazıcı (LOSC Lille)

Forwards: Burak Yılmaz (LOSC Lille), Enes Ünal (Getafe), Halil İbrahim Dervişoğlu (Galatasaray), Kenan Karaman (Fortuna Düsseldorf), Kerem Aktürkoğlu (Galatasaray)

Turkey, Euro 2020 – Predictions

With the likes of Wales, Italy and Switzerland in Group A, Turkey will have a strong task cut-out for themselves. However, of they can manage to churn out a win against either the Swiss or the Welsh, the results will throw open the the Group A race.

Who is Turkey's manager?

Senol Gunes, Turkey Euro 2020 squad (Image credit: PA)

Turkish native Senol Gunes has managed Turkey since 2019, re-joining the national team after his stint in charge in between 2000 and 2004. 68-years-old, Gunes took Turkey to third place in the 2002 World Cup, and has managed Besiktas and Trabzonspor on three separate occasions, among other Turkish league roles.

The former goalkeeper became a manager in 1989 with Boluspor, maintaining a high reputation in Turkey throughout his career in the dugout. Apart from a two year spell in charge of FC Seoul, Gunes has managed in Turkey since his first managerial job in 1989.

The tactics

Turkey’s concerning spell over autumn, in which they collected just the single win across their eight international outings between September and November, may be attributed to a lack transparency in Gunes’ set-up, with the evergreen tactician failing to settle of a consistent formation.

Various iterations of the 4-2-3-1 were deployed, while a narrow 4-4-2 diamond was also experimented with, both with varying degrees of success. In fact, Turkey’s only triumph came using a 4-3-3, and even that was far from a routine win, narrowly edging Russia 3-2, with Cenk Tosun leading the line and getting on the scoresheet.

Tosun’s inclusion came by virtue of established No. 9 Yilmaz missing out through suspension, having been handed his marching orders in the Nations League outing just prior, but given how little the Everton marksman (now on loan at Besiktas) has played this term, he’s unlikely to retain the berth.

So, Yilmaz is expected to inhabit the central forward position as he did in World Cup qualifying, with an attacking trident of Kenan Karaman on the left, Calhanoglu in the hole, and one of Lille teammate Yusuf Yazici or Cengiz Under on the right, forming a devastating attacking support act.

A double pivot made up of Ozan Tufan and West Brom loanee Okay Yokuslu will offer a competent blend of stability and energy, allowing full-backs Caner Erkin and Zeki Celik to progress up the pitch and support the forward line.

The key question for Gunes remains in the heart of defence. Soyuncu and Kabak would, of course, make for an interesting and quite modern centre-back pairing, but Juventus defender Merih Demiral remains an elite option and one that possibly cannot be ignored.

Against more formidable nations, perhaps a back-three could work wonders, especially given the ball-carrying excellence of Soyuncu and Kabak, who could step into midfield and operate almost as a collection of pseudo-anchormen. So, Gunes has options, both with his personnel, and his systems.

Predictions for Turkey - Chances of winning

Although autumn’s results were a real grab bag, Turkey will enter Euro 2020 with confidence given their quite brilliant qualification campaign. They went unbeaten against world champions France, including that aforementioned 2-0 win, and didn’t falter in recent friendlies against 2014 World Cup winners Germany and 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia, so they know they can tussle with the elite. That said, they approach the summer quite unfavourably with bookmakers, with Sky Bet offering odds of 66/1 for them to go all the way and win the competition.

Gunes is a manager who knows how to handle tournament pressure and has previous in masterminding runs to the knockouts, so if you fancy Turkey to progress from a group comprised of Italy, Wales and Switzerland (Group A), then you can gets odds of 4/7 for them to do just that, or 11/2 for them to win the group.

Turkey's past Euros record

Turkey Euro 2020 squad (Image credit: PA)

Between the competition's inception in 1960 and 1992, Turkey were unable to qualify for the Euros. However, since their first tournament in 1996, Turkey have endured a mixed bag of fortunes.

Their inaugural appearance in the tournament was largely unsuccessful, losing all three of their games. However, in 2000 the nation managed to advance to the knockout stages from a group containing Italy, Belgium and Sweden, before losing to Portugal in the quarter-finals.

Turkey weren't able to qualify for 2004, but their third placed finish at 2008 Euros equalled the nation's best ever international tournament finish.

Again, they were unable to qualify for the 2012 Euros, before crashing out in the group stages of the 2016 Euros in France.

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