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Preview: France vs. Turkey - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier between France and Turkey, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Group H's top two teams will lock horns for a key Euro 2020 qualification match on Monday night as the world champions France welcome an impressive Turkey to Paris.

Both sides have taken 18 points from their seven qualification matches thus far, but Turkey will enter the match top of the section due to their superior head-to-head record against Didier Deschamps's side.

Match preview

France's Wissam Ben Yedder celebrates scoring their third goal with Antoine Griezmann and team mates on September 10, 2019© Reuters

Six wins and one defeat - that is how France have performed in Group H thus far. Their only loss came away to Turkey back in June, but 18 points is not enough for them to top the section. Indeed, Friday's opponents are currently at the summit due to their superior head-to-head record.

Since suffering a 2-0 defeat in the reverse match, France have been in impressive form - beating Andorra twice and Albania in three straight games ahead of Friday's clash with Iceland.

It was far from straightforward for Deschamps's side in Reykjavik, but a penalty from Olivier Giroud ultimately proved enough for the 2018 World Cup winners to secure three important points ahead of this match.

With respect to Moldova and Albania, France should win their last two in the section, which makes Monday's clash with Turkey hugely important in terms of first spot. Les Bleus are the favourites to triumph, especially considering that they have never lost a home international against their next opponents.

France have not actually won the European Championships since 2000 but finished as runners-up on home soil last time out. This special group of players should make a strong play for the crown next year, although they must first ensure that they are present in the finals of the competition.

Turkey's Cengiz Under celebrates scoring their second goal against France with teammates on June 8, 2019© Reuters

Turkey will head into Monday's clash in the French capital knowing that a win would be a huge step towards securing first spot in the group, which would be some turn up against the reigning world champions.

Since Senol Gunes took charge earlier this year, the European nation have been absolutely flying. Indeed, they have won eight of their nine matches under their new head coach - suffering just one defeat in the process. They recorded a 2-0 win over France earlier in the group, while they have also beaten Albania twice, Moldova twice and Andorra to make it six victories from their seven matches thus far.

The only blot came away to Iceland on June 11 as they suffered a 2-1 defeat, which is a result that could ultimately come back to haunt them when all is said and done. After the clash with France, they will host Iceland before finishing their campaign away to Andorra three days later.

Currently ranked 36th in the world by FIFA, the Crescent-Stars reached the semi-finals of the European Championships back in 2008 but did not qualify in 2012 before being dumped out in the group stages at Euro 2016.

France form: WLWWWW

Turkey form: WWLWWW

Team News

Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring France's first goal against Netherlands with Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann on September 9, 2018© Reuters

France are missing some key players at the moment with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and Hugo Lloris unavailable for the current international break due to injuries.

Deschamps has no fresh concerns from the side that beat Iceland, though, and it would not be a surprise to see largely the same XI sent onto the field.

Giroud is expected to lead the line with support from Antoine Griezmann, but the likes of Tanguy Ndombele and Wissam Ben Yedder are among those pushing for positions in the team.

As for Turkey, head coach Gunes could stick with the same XI that started against Albania on Friday night, where Everton's Cenk Tosun scored a late winner for the group leaders.

Emre Belozoglu, who has just turned 39, is expected to captain the team from the middle of the park, while Burak Yilmaz and Hakan Calhanoglu should continue alongside Tosun in attack.

One change could see Caglar Soyuncu come into the XI, though, as the central defender has been in impressive form for Leicester City in the early stages of the 2019-20 campaign.

France possible starting lineup: Mandanda; Pavard, Varane, Lenglet, Digne; Sissoko, Tolisso, Matuidi; Coman, Giroud, Griezmann

Turkey possible starting lineup: Gunok; Meras, Demiral, Ayhan, Celik; Emre, Tekdemir, Tufan; Calhanoglu, Yilmaz, Tosun

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We say: France 1-0 Turkey

It is a very, very difficult one to predict. At full strength, France would be the obvious favourites, but Turkey have shown excellent form to remain top of the group. We just fancy the home side to have enough to collect all three points, although it could be a very uncomfortable night for Deschamps's team in the capital.

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France boss Didier Deschamps pictured on March 22, 2019
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Turkey defeat a 'good slap' for France, says Deschamps

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