Our football match prediction:
Konya Buyuksehir Torku Arena will host the match between Turkey and Ukraine. The Turks did remarkably well to share the spoils with Croatia in their opener, but it has to be noted that the Vatreni missed a penalty in the Stadion Maksimir clash. Experienced tactician Fatih Terim is still in charge of the team and he is surely capable of helping Turkey qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals. The Turks face Ukraine in their second group game and given the quality of Andriy Shevchenko’s team, no doubt, the hosts will be happy with one point from Thursday’s football match. The two teams faced each other in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers and back then each team won their respective away game. We predict, though, that Turkey and Ukraine are going to share the spoils this time out.
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 (Ukraine):
After the country had gained independence from the Soviet Union, Ukraine played their first international match in 1992, and they have come a long way since. Zbirna have only once played at the World Cup finals so far, and they did really well to reach the quarter-finals in 2006, while they co-hosted the Euro 2012 with Poland, albeit failing to get past the group stage. The generation that secured qualification for the Euro 2016 finals in France is arguably the most talented ever, with Yevhen Konoplyanka, Andriy Yarmolenko, Ruslan Rotan and Roman Zozulya the leading players, but plenty more talent present in Mikhail Fomenko’s squad. Similar to the trademark style of former Soviet teams, Ukraine bases their tactics on rock-solid defence and swift counter-attacks, but it has to be noted that Zbirna possess a lot more technical skills and attacking potential than most other former Russian republics. Everything suggests that the most successful period in the history of the national team is ahead of them.