A clash between two South-Eastern European sides kicks off the International Break as Angelos Anastasiadis’s Greek side make the short journey to Antalya to take on Şenol Güneş Turkish team. This match will be seen as a good warm up for both sides with Turkey going on to play Uzbekistan (friendly) then France and Iceland (Euro 2020 Qualifiers). Greece on the other hand host Italy and Armenia in the next two weeks as the Euro 2020 qualifiers take centre stage, now that the domestic seasons have all but finished.
Both sides will be looking to get their international periods off to a flyer and a quick look at the odds suggests that Turkey are more likely to get off to a better start. Turkey are currently 1.75, compared to Greece who are 5.00, with the draw being priced up at 3.40.
You can’t really gauge much from their head to head form as they’ve only played once in the last ten years, back in 2015 where it ended with a boring 0-0. Recent form isn’t always the best to go off for international matches as the breaks in between are very significant. However, both teams started their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign in very stylish fashion, with Turkey brushing aside Albania 2-0 and Moldova 4-0, meanwhile the Greek’s beat Liechtenstein 2-0 and got a very impressive draw away at Bosnia & Herzegovenia.
Turkish boss Şenol Güneş will be thankful that he has been able to call upon the main brunt of his talent for this coming international break. With Hakan Calhanhoglu, Cengiz Under, Cenk Tosun, Burak Yilmaz and national team captain Belozoglu Emre all being named in the squad. I can’t imagine that all will feature in the friendlies with Greece and Uzbekistan through worries over fitness coming into their Euro 2020 qualifiers vs France and Iceland.
On a personal level, captain Belozoglu Emre could hit 100 international caps over the international break. He’s a much needed older head of experience in a fairly young Turkish outfit.
On the other hand, Greek boss Angelos Anastasiadis hasn’t got the same level of talent to call upon. Greece’s biggest strengths lie in their defence, with national captain Soktratis Papastathopoulos and Roma starlet Kostas Manolas forming a formidable partnership at the heart of the defence. However, the aforementioned will be missing as he will be involved in the Europa League final on Wednesday with Arsenal. From an attacking viewpoint, Greece will be dependent on Tasos Donis and Kostas Mitroglu to provide some form of potent attacking threat.
The main route that I’m going down from a betting perspective will be lack of goals, I think Under 2.5 Goals, even as low as 1.53 is fairly good value. I think we will see two weakened starting lineups as most of the more senior players will still be recovering from a long and strenuous season. The above prediction would have landed in 8 of their last 10 combined matches, this shows that even in competitive fixtures, neither team is potent in attack or sloppy in defence.
I feel Turkey at 1.75 have enough firepower to get the job done against quite a distinctly average Greek side, especially on home soil. Another angle to go down would be Turkey to win to nil, that’s currently priced up at 2.40 (that’s if you wanted a bit more value on the result market).
If Turkey are playing a full strength squad, the two players that I’d be keen on getting behind would be Cenk Tosun & Burak Yilmaz, both are priced up at 2.75.
Turkey to Win to nil @ 2.40
Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.53
Burak Yilmaz to Score Anytime @ 2.75