Our prediction for this World Cup 2018 match:
Turkey will be looking to record their first win in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers when they welcome Kosovo at Antalya Arena on Saturday evening. After sharing the spoils with the likes of Croatia and Ukraine, Turkey suffered a heartbreaking loss to Iceland in their last qualifying match and, no doubt, Fatih Terim’s men are desperate to put an end to the negative trend. The Turks will certainly go for a win in Saturday’s football match against Kosovo and we predict that Barcelona ace Arda Turan is going to make life difficult for the opposition defenders. The lack of experience in big games is likely to prove to be a big problem for Kosovo in the Antalya Arena clash and, taking everything into account, the visitors should return home empty-handed. When the two teams met in a friendly in 2014 Turkey recorded a routine 6-1 win over Kosovo.
Highlighted Player (Olcay Sahan):
Despite beginning his professional career as the member of Germany’s Under-17 set-up, Olcay Sahan decided to switch allegiance and represent the country of his parents’ descent. Dusseldorf-born Turkish international is a winger who can also be deployed as an attacking midfielder.
Usually deployed on the left side of the pitch, Sahan has been used as a playmaker by Fatih Terim at the international level. The 29-year-old is known for his quick pace, hard work and team spirit, which made him one of the fans’ favourite in Turkey.
Following spells with Borussia Monchengladbach, Duisburg and Kaiserslautern, Olcay Sahan moved to Besiktas in 2012 when he made an immediate impact for the Black Eagles. He has so far made more than 130 Super Lig appearances, scored and assisted more than 30 goals respectively, at the same time establishing himself as first-team regular and one of the most important players for the club.
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.