EURO 2008 semifinalists are considered as dark horses after an impressive qualifying campaign. The Crescent Stars have number of players coming in the tournament after an impressive club campaign. Turkey’s quality defence consisting of Soyuncu (Leicester), Kabak (Liverpool), Demirel (Juventus) and Kaan Ayhan (Sassuolo) will be the key to their success.
Turkey UEFA Euro 2020 Squad:
Goalkeepers: Altay Bayındır (Fenerbahçe), Uğurcan Çakır (Trabzonspor), Mert Günok (İstanbul Başakşehir)
Defenders: Kaan Ayhan (Sassuolo), Zeki Çelik (LOSC Lille), Merih Demiral (Juventus), Ozan Kabak (Liverpool), Umut Meraş (Le Havre), Mert Müldür (Sassuolo), Çağlar Söyüncü (Leicester), Rıdvan Yılmaz (Beşiktaş)
Midfielders: Taylan Antalyalı (Galatasaray), Hakan Çalhanoğlu (AC Milan), Halil Dervişoğlu (Brentford), İrfan Can Kahveci (Fenerbahçe), Orkun Kökçü (Feyenoord), Abdülkadir Ömür (Trabzonspor), Dorukhan Toköz (Beşiktaş), Ozan Tufan (Fenerbahçe), Okay Yokuşlu (West Brom)
Forwards: Kerem Aktürkoğlu (Galatasaray), Kenan Karaman (Fortuna Düsseldorf), Enes Ünal (Getafe), Cengiz Ünder (Leicester), Yusuf Yazıcı (LOSC Lille), Burak Yılmaz (LOSC Lille)
Defence: With only three goals conceded in EURO 2020 qualifying, Turkey boasted the best defensive record (tied with Belgium) of the Euro qualifiers. They posted eight clean sheets in 10 games, including an impressive home win over France, the reigning World champions. This is a mean Turkish side that makes opponents work hard for their goals. Their destruction of the Netherlands in World Cup qualifying proved that they also have goals in them.
Burak Yilmaz and Hakan Çalhanoğlu: Burak Yilmaz turned out to be one of the best bargains of Ligue 1 and football history. Joining from Besiktas on a free transfer, he bagged 16 goals to help Lille to a historic league title after nine seasons. Not only is he a capable penalty box striker he is also capable of scoring some absolute stunners. Playmaker Hakan Çalhanoğlu proved one of the best creators in Europe. He played a big role in helping AC Milan reach the Champions League. The 28-year old’s setpieces are a vital weapon in Turkey’s armory.
Turkey do not have convincing or experienced options at left back, 20-year-old Ridvan Yilmaz might be given the nod. The unavailability of Cenk Tosun due to Covid means Turkey does not have a quality alternative to Burak Yilmaz. Also, there are concerns whether Turkey have the creativity and the game plan after going a goal down as their game plan under Gunes has been based on solid defence and hitting teams on the break.