Spain v Turkey
Spain and Turkey go head-to-head on Thursday night at the Stade de Nice with the current holders looking to secure a place in the Round of 16. Turkey last beat La Furia Roja in 1954.
Turkey lost their Group D opener 1-0 to Croatia thanks to Luka Modric’s superb long-range volley just before half-time. It could have been worse for Fatih Terim as Croatia hit the woodwork on three occasions.
Arda Turan, who plays his club football at Barcelona, did not have the best of days and the same can be said of midfielders Oguzhan Ozyakup and Hakan Calhanoglu, who will all need to improve against the 2010 World Cup winners.
Speaking after the game, Terim could not hide his disappointment. “We have two more games, against Spain and the Czech Republic, and we’ll do our best. We’ll keep fighting. We never start tournaments well. I’m upset, but we’ll take our lessons from this.
“Our big players need to deliver more. It’s a team game but I have high expectations from them and, if they deliver enough, we’ll get some good results,” he added.
The result puts pressure on the Crescent Stars to pick up a result against Spain, who gave nothing away in their opening match against Czech Republic.
Vicente Del Bosque’s side picked up 3 points against a resilient Czech Republic side. Spain chipped away at their opponents throughout the game but were denied time and time again by Petr Cech and his defence. The deadlock was finally broken in the 87th minute when Pique rose at the back post to head in Andres Iniesta’s cross.
The assist for Iniesta was the icing on the cake of an exceptional performance where he effortlessly rolled back the years.
Del Bosque went with Alvaro Morata up front, who didn’t have the best of matches. Nolito was deployed on the left-wing and also left a lot of room for improvement. David De Gea is expected to remain in goal for the match, having seemingly secured his role as Spain’s number 1.
Spain predicted line-up
Turkey predicted line-up
101 Great Goals predicted: Spain 1 – Turkey 0