MX23RW : Monday, July 26 05:21:11| >> :600:1536979:1536979:
Nov 15, 2020 at 5pm UK
TurkeyTurkey
3-2
RussiaRussia
Karaman (26'), Under (32'), Tosun (52' pen.)
Demiral (49'), Tosun (55'), Under (59')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Cheryshev (11'), Kuzyaev (57')
Zobnin (54'), Dzhikiya (56'), Kudryashov (74'), Fomin (89')
Semenov (24')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Nations League clash between Turkey and Russia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Turkey will endeavour to secure their first win of the 2020-21 Nations League at the fifth attempt when they face off against Russia in Sunday's League B Group 3 clash.

In contrast, the visitors currently occupy top spot in the group and have promotion to League A firmly in their sights heading into their final two matches.


Match preview

Turkey head coach Senol Gunes pictured on November 11, 2020© Reuters

Turkey have had a difficult time converting draws into wins recently. Senol Gunes has witnessed his side share the spoils in their last five matches in all competitions, and Turkey will be looking for their first win in nearly a year this weekend.

The Crescent-Stars opened their 2020-21 Nations League campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Hungary, and Turkey have since shared the points with Serbia twice and Russia once as they prepare to meet the latter for the second time on matchday five.

Still awaiting their first triumph of the group stage, Turkey are teetering dangerously close to the relegation spot as they lie one point above fourth-placed Serbia, who are certainly not expected to claim all three points against a Hungary outfit buoyed by qualification for Euro 2020.

In a mirror image of October's friendly with Germany, Turkey scored three and conceded three against Croatia on Wednesday evening, with the forgotten man Cenk Tosun opening the scoring against the World Cup finalists, and Leicester City's Cengiz Under also helped himself to a goal.

Should Turkey win here and Serbia lose to Hungary, Gunes's men will secure their spot in League B for the next cycle, but Russia are unbeaten after four matches and will look to keep that run going as they push for promotion to the top league.

Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Russia are the only team in League B Group 3 yet to taste defeat in the 2020-21 Nations League, with Stanislav Cherchesov steering his side to two wins and two draws so far.

However, this weekend's visitors are winless in their last four games in all competitions and could not find a way past Moldova in their midweek friendly - eventually playing out a goalless stalemate in that encounter.

Russia took six points from six in their opening two Nations League matches with victories over Serbia and Hungary, but Cherchesov's side then had to settle for a draw with Turkey before Hungary also stopped Russia from doing the double over them with a 0-0 stalemate last month.

If Hungary do not overcome Serbia and Russia take all three points in their encounter with Turkey, Cherchesov's men will guarantee promotion to League A, and their record against Turkey suggests Russia could do just that.

Indeed, the visitors have never lost to Turkey in the seven meetings between the two sides, winning four and drawing three since their inaugural match against the Crescent-Stars in 1994.

Turkey Nations League form: LDDD
Turkey form (all competitions): LDDDDD

Russia Nations League form: WWDD
Russia form (all competitions): WWLDDD


Team News

Hakan Calhanoglu celebrates scoring for Milan on September 24, 2020© Reuters

Veteran striker Burak Yilmaz was sent off for Turkey in their 2-2 draw with Serbia last month, and the Lille man will play no part in this one.

As a result, Tosun could very well be handed another start up top by Gunes, and while concerns have arisen over Croatia's Domagoj Vida playing 45 minutes of Wednesday's friendly before finding out he was COVID-positive, there is no suggestion that Turkey's preparations will be hampered.

Further changes from the midweek friendly could see Mert Gunok, Zeki Celik and Merih Demiral all come back into the first XI, with the impressive Hakan Calhanoglu also returning to Gunes's starting lineup.

As for Russia, goalkeeper Anton Shunin started both of their Nations League fixtures last month, but with the 33-year-old sidelined through injury, Guilherme is set to keep his place in between the sticks.

Artem Dyzuba has also lost his place in the squad after an embarrassing video was leaked, with Fedor Chalov looking to score his first goal for the national team.

Anton Miranchuk is sure to occupy the number 10 role, demoting his twin brother Aleksei Miranchuk to the bench.

Turkey possible starting lineup:
Gunok; Celik, Demiral, Kabak, Erkin; Yokuslu, Tufan; Under, Calhanoglu, Karaman; Tosun

Russia possible starting lineup:
Guilherme; Karavaev, Semenov, Dzhikiya, Kudryashov; Zobnin, Ozdoev; Ionov, An.Miranchuk, Kuzyaev; Chalov


SM words green background

We say: Turkey 1-2 Russia

Turkey's substandard results in the Nations League do not reflect the talent in their ranks, but the hosts are at serious risk of finishing bottom of the pile should they not register at least one win this month. However, they are facing a Russia side who are yet to taste defeat in the group and will be equally determined to pick up all three points - albeit for a different reason - and we think Cherchesov's men will just edge this one to further their promotion bid.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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Lyndon Dykes celebrates scoring for Scotland against Slovakia in the Nations League on October 11, 2020
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Monday's key events


TRIATHLON
· Jonny Brownlee will look to make the most of his brother Alistair's absence as he goes for gold in the men's triathlon (10.30pm-1am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB get their campaign underway with two matches, against Canada and Japan (from 1.30am)

SWIMMING
· One of Team GB's biggest gold medal hopes, Adam Peaty, will take part in the 100m breaststroke final. (3.12am)
· Ariarne Titmus and Katie Ledecky go head to head for gold in the women's 400m freestyle final (3.20am)

DIVING
· Tom Daley and Matty Lee take part in the men's 10m synchro final (7am-8am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· The men's team final takes place (11am)

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