Preview: Turkey vs Luxembourg – prediction, team news, rosters

Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Nations League clash between Turkey and Luxembourg, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.

Turkey will aim to continue their record of 100% in the current season of the UEFA Nations League when they host Luxemburg Thursday.

The visitors must win to have a chance of overtaking their next opponents for first place.


Match Preview

© Reuters

After being relegated to League C in the Nations League, Turkey were expected to bounce straight back to second place in Europe as the highest-ranked third-tier nation this time around.

So far, Stefan KuntzThe team certainly did not fail, scoring 14 unanswered goals, as they racked up four wins in four matches against Luxembourg, Faroe Islands and Lithuania (twice).

Kuntz, whose equalizer against England at Euro 1996 helped knock out the Three Lions in the semi-finals, has an impressive record since taking over for the Crescent-Stars last September, winning seven of his 10 matches in charge.

The only real stain on the 59-year-old’s notebook is the 3-1 loss to Portugal in March, which ended Turkey’s hopes of qualifying for a third World Cup in the country’s history .

An eighth victory against Luxembourg on Thursday would at least confirm their return to European League B in the Nations League, potentially boosting their chances of securing a place in the playoffs to qualify for the World Cup in 2026.

Luxembourg coach Luc Holtz on March 27, 2021© Reuters

Luxembourg, meanwhile, has had an impressive run under Luke Holz since their former midfielder took over the senior team in 2010, reaching an all-time high of 82nd in the FIFA World Rankings under his tutelage in September 2018.

At Nations League level, Luxembourg were promoted to League C at the first attempt, before finishing second behind Montenegro in the final leg of the competition. History looks likely to repeat itself this time around unless they can pull off a memorable win at Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadium on Thursday.

The Red Lions have never qualified for a major tournament in their history, but under Holtz they may feel they have a better chance of doing so than ever before, especially with the Nations League offering a potential way forward. enter through the back door.

As such, it’s important that they claim at least second place in the group with as many points as they can possibly pick up. Having beaten the Republic of Ireland away in March 2021, there’s no reason they can’t do the same with Turkey this week.

Turkey Nations League Form:

Turkey form (all competitions):

Luxembourg Nations League form:

Luxembourg form (all competitions):


Team News

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo in action with Turkey's Ozan Kabak on March 24, 2022© Reuters

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Salih Ozcanwho has made five appearances for Turkey since switching allegiance with Germany earlier this year, will not be available after pulling out of the squad due to foot swelling.

With regular captain Hakan Calhanoglu not called up due to a hamstring problem, there is a clear void to be filled in midfield, with Irfan Kahveci and Orkun Kokcu potentially fill it.

In total, Kuntz called up nine different players from his previous squad, although only Onur Bulut and Ismail Yuksek are awaiting their international debut.

Ozan Kabakwho has been in excellent form for Hoffenheim this season, could be favored for Caglar Soyuncu at centre-back given the 26-year-old’s lack of playing time with Leicester City.

Luxembourg, meanwhile, have signed six different players to their squad compared to their previous selection, including the veteran defender Lars Krogh Gerson.

Fabio Lohei and Alessio Curci would make their international debut if involved against Turkey, although Holtz might prefer to use them against Lithuania on Sunday given the amount of his side’s trip to Turkey.

Possible starting line-up for Turkey:
Bayindir; Celik, Kabak, Ayhan, Kadioglu; Kahveci, Kokcu; Sub, Dervisoglu, Akturkoglu; Dursun

Possible departure composition from Luxembourg:
Morris; Da Graca, Chanot, Carlson, Pinto; Barreiro, Gerson, Thill; Bohnert, Sinani, Rodrigues


SM words green background

We say: Turkey 2-0 Luxembourg

Even with a few injury absences in midfield, Turkey should have too much quality for their opponents.

Luxembourg have improved enormously in recent years, but they still lack quality in certain areas, and the hosts will be motivated to maintain their record at 100% and secure promotion to League B.

For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, scores and more for this match, please click here.


Trick

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this game. Click here to find out what else they predict for this game and for more of their proven football tips.Under 3.5: data


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