Our football match prediction:
Eskisehir Arena will host a friendly game between Turkey and Moldova. Turkey are fully focused on the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, but Fatih Terim’s men will certainly take Monday’s football game very seriously. The Turks managed to keep a clean sheet in each of their previous three warm-up games and they are definitely capable of preventing Moldova attackers from scoring at Eskisehir Arena. Fatih Terim is likely to mix the squad against Igor Dobrovolskiy’s troops, but regardless of which players will be deployed in the starting XI, we predict that the hosts will emerge triumphant in their first friendly game of the year. The Moldovans have been struggling in the World Cup qualifiers and despite the fact that they defeated San Marino in their last warm-up game, the visitors are unlikely to upset Hakan Calhanoglu and Co. in Eksisehir. In their last meeting in Turkey the Crescent Stars hammered Moldova 5-0.
Highlighted Player (Oguzhan Ozyakup):
The 23-year-old Netherlands-born Turkish international Oguzhan Ozyakup is a midfielder who started his professional career at Premier League giants Arsenal. Ozyakup arrived to the London-based club as a schoolboy from AZ and went through Arsenal academy, before making his competitive debut in a League Cup match against Shrewsbury Town, when he supplied the assist for Yossi Benayoun in a 3-1 victory. Turkish international however failed to break into the first-team and was transferred to Besiktas in 2012. Turkey international has passed the 100-match mark for his club in 2016 and is considered one of the more experienced and most valuable players of the club, despite he is only 23 years of age. Talented midfielder was subject of intense transfer speculation during the 2016 summer transfer window with Valencia reportedly expressing interest in signing the Turkish footballer, but Ozyakup remained at Besiktas and went on to extend his contract, which will keep him at the Vodafone Arena until 2018.
Highlighted Team (Turkey):
Present on the international stage since 1923, Turkey only started showing some promise during the 70’s, but they had to wait until the turn of the century to place themselves on the map. While they lost all three fixtures at their first ever European Championship finals in 1996, they fared much better four years later, reaching the last eight in Netherlands and Belgium. Milli Takim were able to build on that result as they went on to reach the podium at the 2002 World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan, while also finishing third at the 2003 Confederations Cup and making it to the semi-finals at the Euro 2008. Rustu Recber, Hakan Sukur and Emre Belezoglu were important parts of the country’s most successful generation, but the one including Arda Turan, Selcuk Inan, Burak Yilmaz and Hakan Calhanoglu is threatening to surpass their achievements. As the Turkish Super Lig continues the get stronger, the national team follows, and we should expect some big result from Milli Takim in the near future.