Czech Republic v Turkey
Wednesday June 22, 5:00am
Czech Republic continued the trend of late goals in this tournament to snatch their first point with an injury time equaliser against Croatia. However, they’ll have to go one better here if they want to qualify, as will Turkey, and this is a must-win game for either side to have any chance of progressing.
The Czechs failed to keep a single clean sheet during qualifying and they’ve actually kept just one in their last 24 internationals, in a friendly against Malta. 17 of those games have had at least three goals and both teams have scored in four of their last five matches against teams we had ranked within 10 places of them (either higher or lower) as they were beaten three times.
Turkey have disappointed so far in this tournament, as they’ve been beaten twice without scoring and neither Arda Turan nor Hakan Calhanoglu have had much of an impact. Against this defence they should find life a lot easier however, and they’d won four of five friendlies this year leading up to the start of the Finals. Moreover, they’ve won five of their last seven matches against teams ranked within 10 places of them.
These teams have recent experience of playing each other having met in the qualifying campaign, when both meetings were won by the respective away side. There’s certainly not a huge amount between the two sides and at their best we’d say Turkey have the greater potential. While the Czech’s have the third oldest of all the squads here Turkey are the sixth youngest and the general performances of these two sides have been trending in different directions over the past year.
In 15 third group games at major tournaments (Euros, World Cups or Copas) since 1990 where one side was on zero points and the other was on one, there have been at least three goals on 10 occasions. With both sides needing to try and win this game we’ll hopefully see plenty of attacking, and certainly, both teams look vulnerable at the back. Over 2.5 Goals, therefore looks a solid bet at about evens while Turkey look to be significantly underrated against a very average Czech Republic side.
BACK – Over 2.5 Goals at 2.08