Our prediction for this match:
Turkey take on Ukraine at Antaly Stadymu in their last game of the year. Turkey have been having their ups and downs in 2018, but a win over Ukraine could be the turning point for Mircea Lucescu’s troops. The Turks are undefeated in previous three friendly games in front of home fans, which is surely giving them a reason for optimism ahead of the visit of Ukraine. Andriy Shevchenko’s troops want to finish the year in style as well, therefore, we predict that both teams are going to adopt an attack-minded approach in Tuesday’s football game. In their last meeting in Turkey the two teams played out a thrilling 2-2 draw and, taking everything into account, we believe that there is a big value in betting on both teams to score. A man to watch in the home side will be Hakan Calhanoglu, whilst the hosts should have West Ham attacker Yarmolenko at bay.
Highlighted Player (Taras Stepanenko):
Taras Stepanenko is a defensive midfielder who plays for Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukrainian Premier League. Stepanenko was born on 8 August, 1989 and he played for the likes of Torpedo-Kosmos, Arsenal Kharkiv, Torpedo Zaporizhia and Kosmos Zaporizhia during his youth career.
After making 16 appearances (scoring 1 goal) for Metalurh Zaporizhia, he made his senior debut on 4 March, 2007 at the age of 17. Stepanenko played 81 league games for the club between 2007 and 2010 and then he made probably the best decision of his career, joining big-spending club Shakhtar Donetsk. He signed a five-year contract with the Miners on 11 May, 2010 and he has been playing for the Ukrainian giants ever since.
Stepanenko made his 33rd appearance for the Ukrainian national team at the 2016 European Championship finals in France. The Shakhtar Donetsk footballer made his Ukraine debut on 17 November, 2010 in a 2-2 draw with Switzerland. He is capable of playing as both defensive and a central midfielder.
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 Receber, 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.