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Wales v Turkey
The Cardiff City Stadium will take centre stage on Tuesday evening as Wales host Turkey in this all-important Euro 2024 Qualifier in Group D. With the visitors having already advanced to next summer’s tournament in Germany, the spotlight will firmly be on the home side as their slim chances of automatic qualification hang in the balance. There are plenty of exciting betting angles to explore as we should expect to see a high-octane game with the home side backed by a raucous atmosphere.
Wales’ hopes of a third successive appearance at the European Championships were dealt a major blow at the weekend as they handed the initiative to Croatia who obliged with a 2-0 win in Latvia. Robe Page’s side knew that two victories from their final two matches would secure qualification but they were unable to claim victory in Yerevan as they were held by Armenia in a 1-1 draw. The permutations are now clear, Wales must beat Turkey and hope that Croatia do them a favour.
Having only replaced Stefan Kuntz in September, Vincenzo Montella has steered his Turkey side to three wins from his first three matches. That run included a sensational 1-0 victory on the road in Croatia before a 4-0 home win against Latvia during the last international break secured safe passage to Germany. That result means that they arrive here with the luxury of having nothing on the line, safe in the knowledge they’ll make their fifth appearance at the finals come the summer.
The last time these sides met was in the reverse fixture back in June where late goals from Umut Nayir and Real Madrid teenage sensation Arda Guler sealed a comfortable 2-0 win for Turkey. However, the score line didn’t represent the true picture as they also had two goals disallowed and missed a penalty in a dominant performance which piled the pressure on Page. Wales are unbeaten in five games since that result and will be looking to avenge the loss with a victory in this one.
Wales v Turkey Cheat Sheet
This Cheat Sheet and Preview was created using predicted lineups.
Now, for our breakdown and preview with recommended bets…
🥅 Goals stats: Goals the order of the day
This one should be an end-to-end thriller, especially given where these respective sides find themselves coming into the match. Wales know that nothing other than a win is required, so they’ll need to be aggressive and on the front foot from the very first minute. Turkey meanwhile arrive in Cardiff having already qualified which should allow them to play with plenty of freedom, making for an open contest.
As a result, this game could produce plenty of goals. Wales have scored in all but one of their qualifying games, which ironically was in the reverse fixture, but they have been equally vulnerable at the back, conceding nine goals in their seven matches. That could be a telling factor as they press for the win and Turkey could exploit their defensive frailties on the counterattack.
Montella will want to maintain that winning feeling and extend his unbeaten start as manager as they look forward to next summer’s tournament. The visitors have scored an impressive thirteen goals in their seven qualifiers and hit three against Germany in a friendly on Saturday evening. With nothing to lose here, there is every chance the away side bag a goal themselves in this one.
Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 goals markets both look very appealing from a bet builder perspective and that’s the focus of the predictions.
🥅 Over 2.5 goals @ 1.85
⚽ Both teams to score @ 1.65
🎯 Shooting stats: Wilson and Akturkoglu to be the outlets
If anyone is going to step up and be counted for Wales, it’s Harry Wilson. Fulham’s attacking midfielder has been the most consistent player during this qualification campaign, scoring three goals and providing one assist, which included a brace in the 2-1 win over Croatia in the last home game. There’s every chance he’s heavily involved again here, and that’s a good angle to focus on.
Page employs Wilson in a more advanced role than he plays under Marco Silva at his club, often allowing him to take more shots at goal. This has so far paid dividends as he continues to flourish for his national side. Kieffer Moore is also a fantastic partner for Wilson as he holds up the play and will tee up his teammate to fire in plenty of attempts on the opposition goal from distance.
For his club side this season, who have ranked poorly in terms of shots, Wilson has been a shining light and has taken fifteen attempts on goal during his seven starts, with four of those finding the target. That attacking impetus has also translated to the international stage where the midfielder is currently averaging almost two shots on target per game during this qualification campaign.
Wilson will be the main danger in the final third as they press for the goals they need. He’s likely to be involved and a shot or two on target is fancied.
Kerem Akturkoglu was rested for the friendly win in Germany as Montella opted for an experimental lineup, but the Galatasaray winger should come back into the fold for this more competitive fixture. Having scored two goals in his seven qualification appearances, he’s certainly a danger man that Wales will need to contend with, especially on the counterattack where he can be devastating.
Akturkoglu is averaging around three shots per game for his club side this season, with one of these finding the target per game. He’s also been heavily involved in a lot of their attacking play, scoring five goals and providing six assists this campaign in all competitions. That form has translated to the national side as he looks a key part of Montella’s plans both now and for the future.
There are certainly holes that the Turkish man can exploit and a big performance is expected. Wales gave up five shots on target in their previous meeting and it would be no surprise to see a few shots test Ward in between the sticks, with Akturkoglu likely to be involved. If the focus has already turned to the playoffs for Page’s players, there could be plenty of opportunities for him.
Akturkoglu is a sensational talent and he’s fancied to cause a few issues, especially with mainstay Mepham absent for Wales and he’s a sensible bet.
🎯 Harry Wilson to have 1+ shot on target @ 1.62
🎯 Harry Wilson to have 2+ shots on target @ 3.75
🎯 Kerem Akturkoglu to have 1+ shot on target @ 1.67
🥅 Kerem Akturkoglu to score anytime @ 4.33
🛑 Fouls stats: Fouls to build up for the Welsh
With Wales going all out for the win, we could see a frantic match in which tempers fly, especially against a combative Turkey side that both concede and commit plenty of fouls. As Wales approach desperation mode, and indeed if things aren’t going their way in the game, we could start to see some cynical fouls rack up with Ethan Ampadu, Neco Williams, and Kieffer Moore all prime candidates.
Ampadu has averaged well over a foul per game during the qualifiers and was booked on Saturday while Moore has had disciplinary issues this campaign having been sent off in the reverse tie against Armenia at home. Williams will want to get forward to support the attacking players up front but will have to contend with the likes of Akturkoglu (who draws fouls) from a defensive perspective.
The man in the middle may also assist with any bet builder selections. Slovenian Matej Jug has averaged around 26 fouls per game across his career and we can expect something similar again here, especially as the last meeting saw 25 fouls committed between these sides. The pressure Wales are under may be significant here and it absolutely makes sense to be on fouls watch.
Backing one, or a combination of Ampadu, Williams, and Moore to all commit a foul is the play as they’ll all attract interest from the referee at some point.
The battle between Kieffer Moore and Abdulkerim Bardakci is certainly one to watch. The Bournemouth target man is strong, and powerful and will put himself about up top as Wales go in search of goals. Moore is always there about when it comes to both fouls committed and fouls drawn and he could ruffle the Galatasaray central defender which could land him in hot water with the officials.
Bardakci has committed nine fouls in his twelve appearances in the Turkish Super League this season, collecting two yellow cards in the process. Interestingly though, his discipline seems to waiver when faced with better opposition in the more competitive games. The 29-year-old has been booked twice in the Champions League this season and also in his last two consecutive internationals.
With Moore bound to be a handful, there is every chance that Bardakci gets himself embroiled in a tussle and he’ll also have the likes of Dan James, Harry Wilson and Brendon Johnson to contend with, all of whom draw plenty of fouls themselves. With Wales desperate for the win, the expectation is that a large proportion of the game will be played in Turkey’s half, which allows more opportunities.
Over the course of 90 minutes, which he’s likely to play the majority if not all, Bardakci is a solid bet for at least a foul and maybe a card.
🛑 Ethan Ampadu to commit 1+ foul @ 1.20
🛑 Neco Williams to commit 1+ foul @ 1.30
* I recommend waiting for confirmed team line-ups before placing any bets.
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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