Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
After sharing the spoils with Haaland-less Norway, Turkey will be aiming to return to winning ways when they take on Latvia at Daugavas stadions. The Turks are two points behind the playoffs place, meaning that this has to go down as a must-win game for the visiting side. As always, a man to watch in the away side will be Inter ace Hakan Calhanoglu. Lille attacker Burak Yilmaz should continue to lead the line for the Turks.
The Latvians, on the other hand, missed out on a place at the next year’s showpiece tournament, meaning that they have little to play for in Monday’s qualifier. All Ontuzans, Karklins, Krollis, and Stuglis are pushing for a start, speaking of the home team. Anyhow, we are tempted to put our money on Turkey, who aim to keep their World Cup qualification hopes alive.
Highlighted Player (Hakan Calhanoglu):
Hakan Calhanoglu is another one in the long line of Turkish footballers who were born in Germany, so it is hardly surprising he came to prominence thanks to his performances in Bundesliga. The attacking midfielder with great vision and very good goalscoring record started his professional career at Karlsruher, scoring impressive 17 goals in 50 league outings to earn a move to Bundesliga side Hamburg.
The spell at Imtech Arena was merely a stepping stone for bigger things as 11 goals in his debut top flight campaign persuaded Bayer Leverkusen to splash nearly €15 million on his services. That proved a very good investment as Calhanoglu continued the rich vein of form, and it is now a matter of time before he joins one of European powerhouses.
The midfield maestro had a bright start to his career in the Turkey national team, scoring 5 goals in first 16 caps, and chances are he will become a leader for Milli Takim in the foreseeable future.
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.