Turkey as dark horse of Euro 2020

Turkey has a young squad consisting of players with great potential. Some even say that this is Turkey’s golden generation.

The team’s biggest international success was achieved by the current manager, Şenol Güneş. The experienced manager got the Turkish National Team to 3rd place in the 2002 World Cup. Following the impressive World Cup performance, Turkey finished in 3rd place at the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, and shocked Europe with a miraculous run in Euro 2008, having led matches for a total of only 9 minutes before reaching the semifinals. With Turkish players signing the for top clubs all around Europe, the national team’s quality has also improved significantly. Alongside the younger generation, players like Burak Yılmaz will complement the squad’s quality with their experience. After two very goof showings at the Euro 2020 and World Cup 2022 qualifiers, where they’ve beaten strong teams like the Netherlands and the World Cup 2018 winners France, Turkish people are seeing their national team as a dark horse who can surpass the expectations in this competition.

Turkey squad Euro 2020

Goalkeepers: Altay Bayındır (Fenerbahce), Mert Gunok (Istanbul Basaksehir), Ugurcan Cakir (Trabzonspor)

Defenders: Zeki Celik (LOSC Lille), Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester), Kaan Ayhan (Sassuolo), Merih Demiral (Juventus), Mert Muldur (Sassuolo), Ozan Kabak (Liverpool), Ridvan Yilmaz (Besiktas), Umut Meras (Le Havre)

Midfielders: Yusuf Yazıcı (LOSC Lille), Dorukhan Tokoz (Besiktas), Irfan Can Kahveci (Fenerbahce), Okay Yokuslu (West Brom), Orkun Kokcu (Feyenoord), Ozan Tufan (Fenerbahce), Taylan Antalyali (Galatasaray), Hakan Calhanoglu (AC Milan)

Forwards: Burak Yilmaz (LOSC Lille), Cengiz Under (Leicester), Enes Unal (Getafe), Abdulkadir Omur (Trabzonspor), Kerem Akturkoglu (Galatasaray), Halil Ibrahim Dervisoglu (Brentford), Kenan Karaman (Fortuna Dusseldorf)

Weakness:

We’ve seen Şenol Güneş trying 3ATB in the last couple of matches but the squad hasn’t quite adapted to it yet and he had to sub players out to fix it in some of them. It looks like he wants the team to play that way, but is it the time to test things when they can wait 2 more years while getting used to it, and use it at the World Cup? Or is it the right thing to do to play with a 3ATB formation at this year’s Euros?

Key Players:

Ozan Tufan: The Turkish midfielder Ozan Tufan was seen as a wunderkind since his career started at Bursaspor. The current Turkey manager Şenol Güneş completely changed his career at Bursa, changing his position from right back to the midfield. His career took a downturn when he joined Fenerbahçe at a young age, but he got back up. He has been a key player for Turkey since, especially with his frequent long-range goals. Like Uğurcan Çakır, he has been linked with big European clubs for a while now, so this tournament could be a chance for him to prove himself.

Burak Yılmaz: The experienced striker was almost always in the Turkish Super League except for a 2-year stint in China. Turkish fans knew about his hunger for goals, but this year, we heard his name all over Europe thanks to his championship-winning performance with Lille OSC, saying no to Paris Saint-Germain’s dominance over the French Ligue 1. While the Turkish National Team struggled with their strikers these last couple of years, Burak Yılmaz being in form means that they’ll have that much-needed finishing ability going forward.

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