Turkey, the biggest shock in the European Championship so far, but in a bad way to me. Turkey, my pick as the dark horse of the tournament and my surprise winner of Group A as you could have seen on the Sports 2.0 Show.
Turkey did not look like the side who qualified for this tournament in their first match versus Italy, losing 3-0 to Italy. It’s understandable to lose a game 1-0 with how great defensively this Turkish team has been led by Caglar Soyuncu in defense but 3-0 is a tough game.
Italy was playing in their national stadium so they had home-field advantage even though they were actually the away team, and for sure played like the home team. In this Euros, there is no one country hosting it, there are a plethora of countries and cities hosting it.
In Wales’s first match they played Switzerland. The game ended in a 1-1 draw which I predicted. Switzerland controlled most of the game and Breel Embolo played very well. Wales was able to keep counter-attacking and putting in crosses to their big striker Kieffer Moore and ending up scoring from a beautiful cross and a beautiful header by Moore.
Wales looked like a much better side defensively than Turkey in their first games. Italy was the expected group winner in this group so it is understandable why they looked like a weaker defensive team. Turkey vs Wales is going to be a great game that either team can win.
Turkey vs Wales Prediction
This match will be all about the attack. Will Turkey actually be able to attack and show the strength of their squads such as Yilmaz, who had a career season playing for Ligue 1 champions Lille, Hakan Calhanoglu, the attacking midfielder from AC Milan, and many more capable options.
Wales will also need to show off their attacking options with Garreth Bale, the ex-most expensive player in world football, Kieffer Moore, the Cardiff City striker needs to keep showing off his aerial ace, and Aaron Ramsey, the Juventus midfielder who loves getting into the box.
Turkey has the better defense on paper in this match and the stronger side in general. With this match being played in Baku, Azerbaijan, Turkey will have more of a home-field advantage. Obviously, Wales is almost as far away as you can get from Azerbaijan in Europe and Turkey is not too far geographically.
The Pick: Turkey 1, Wales 0
I’m for sure doing this prediction based on my heart over my brain. Turkey, who I predicted to win this group, looked confused in their first game against Italy and I still think they have a lot to prove and need to show resilience from that last match. I think the Turks’ defense will be much better with Soyuncu and Demiral locking down the big man Kieffer Moore.
I think Turkey will score from a set-piece with a great delivery from Hakan Calhanoglu.