Turkey host Germany in a Group A Euro 2012 qualifier on Friday, October 7, at the Turk Telekom Arena, Istanbul.
The hosts are expected to go all out for a result that would secure them a spot in the play-offs next year, ahead of Belgium. Turkey got to the semi-finals of the main tournament in 2008 before losing to Germany, who themselves lost to eventual champions Spain.
With talented players like Arda Turan and Mehmet Topal, in their sqaud, Turkey who did not qualify for last year’s world cup, are on a come-back trail.
Ahead of the game, Turkey manager Guus Hiddink is likely to welcome the return to the team of Gokhan Gonul, Selcuk Inan, Emre Belozoglu, and Mehmet Ekici who did not play in the 0-0 draw versus Austria, in the September qualifier. Hamit Altintop has recovered from a hip injury and is likely to feature in the first eleven.
Germany have won all eight of their games in their qualifying group, and coach Joachim Loew will want to keep that record intact. Toni Kroos is likely to miss the match with Turkey owing to a virus, and he is likely to be replaced by Sami Khedira.
Mario Gomez who did not feature in September’s qualifier with Austria that Germany won 6-2 has recovered from his adductor injury. Miroslav Klose, though not fully recovered from a knee injury, could be the lone striker. Mesut Ozil with an ankle injury is doubtful for this game.
These teams have met 19 times in the past, with Germany winning on 13 occasions and Turkey on three, with the remaining games drawn. The last time these sides met was in Berlin, in October 2010, when Germany beat Turkey convincingly by a score-line of 3-0. Klose got two of those goals while Ozil scored the third.
Turkey are currently in second place in Group A, two points adrift of Belgium in third place; the Beligians play Kazakhstan, in a home encounter, on the same day.
Turkey’s recent form has been good, and they have won their last three games in succession, beating Austria 2-0, in a euo qualifier, Estonia 3-0, in a friendly, and Kazakhstan 2-1, in another qualifier. Germany beat Brazil 3-2, in a friendly game, and before that, thrashed Austria in a Euro qualifier, and drew 2-2, in a friendly, with Poland.
Turkey’s probable eleven: Demirel, Gonul, Cetin, Korkmaz, Baltan, Emre, Selcuk Inan, Hamit Altintop, Ekici, Arda Turan, Yilmaz
Germany’s probable eleven: Neuer, Howedes, Mertesacker, Badstuber, Lahm, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Muller, Ozil, Podolski, Gomez
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