There is a certain something that comes to our subconscious when we hear the word Turkey. People of my generation and before were educated to respect “the threat of the Turks”, something that has never been eradicated after Lepanto. In a footballing context Turkey deprived Spain from going to the 1954 World Cup. a game that was decided in a hurly-burly play-off in Rome and following a tie, lots were drawn by a blind 14 year old boy to decide who would make the finals in Switzerland. In the 1950 competition we finished fourth so anticipation was high ahead of the ’54 tournament with Kubala boosting hopes and the disappointment of not qualifying was immense.
Terim’s side qualified for Euro 2016 from a difficult group that included Czech Republic and Holland and the respect the coach holds within the squad is absolute. His team include the likes of Arda Turan and Nuri Sahin. Turan has not had the best of seasons with Barça, but we know what he is capable of doing from his time at Atlético. He’s a top class player and just needs to recover his form again. Sahin was a leading light in Klopp’s Dortmund side and was snapped up by Madrid. His time at the Bernabeu was hampered by injury and he’s now back with Borussia after a spell at Liverpool and is playing well. Turkey also have a decent striker in Burak Yilmaz, currently plying his trade in China.
The past mythology and Turkey’s ability justifiably confirm Del Bosque’s caution ahead of the match. The coach from Salamanca is naturally a discreet individual and is anxious to ensure that no complacency affects the Spanish squad. The team performed admirably in Toulouse with just the Azerbaijani algorithm letting us down. Del Bosque is aware that if Spain does have a problem, it’s finding the net and that is a worry going forward. The starting line-up is set to be the same as the opening game and the team have been working on shooting from outside the box and finishing moves. We’ll see tonight if this pays off.