MX23RW : Thursday, August 5 21:31:32| >> :600:2459200:2459200:
Mar 24, 2021 at 5pm UK at Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadı
Yilmaz (15', 34' pen., 81'), Calhanoglu (46')
Karaman (32'), Tufan (36'), Yilmaz (52'), Meras (72'), Kabak (90+4')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Klaassen (75'), de Jong (76')
Wijnaldum (50')

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

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's World Cup 2022 qualifier between Turkey and the Netherlands, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The Netherlands begin their World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign with a tricky trip to Turkey on Wednesday evening as Group G gets up and running.

Frank de Boer's men are favourites to finish top of the standings, while Turkey are second seeds and are much fancied to join their opponents in Qatar next year.

Match preview

Netherlands midfielder Donny van de Beek celebrates scoring against Spain on November 11, 2020© Reuters

De Boer's first couple of months in the job did not exactly get off to a flyer, with the Oranje losing a friendly against Mexico and drawing their next three games.

However, it must be factored in that they earned draws against Italy and Spain in that run, before then beating Bosnia-Herzegovina and Poland to end 2020 on a high.

The Dutch are therefore unbeaten in five matches and have this summer's rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament to look forward to.

Finishing top of Group G in this next qualifying campaign will be the target for De Boer, but his side begin with what on paper is their toughest match of the whole campaign.

Turkey lost 2-0 to Hungary in their most recent outing, though that came on the back of a six-game unbeaten streak.

Turkey players celebrate Cenk Tosun's goal against Croatia on November 11, 2020© Reuters

That includes a run of five draws, holding Germany and Croatia 3-3 across that period.

In fact, going further back, the Crescent-Stars have lost only three of their last 21 competitive and non-competitive matches, seeing them rise to 32nd in the FIFA rankings.

Senol Gunes's charges, like the Netherlands, will compete in this summer's Euros in a group that also contains Italy, Wales and Switzerland.

Using the momentum from their last campaign, Turkey will be looking to reach their first World Cup finals since 2002, when famously going on to finish third.

The last meeting between these nations was a European Championship qualifier in September 2015, which Turkey won 3-0 on home soil.

Turkey form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L

Netherlands form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Memphis Depay celebrates scoring for Netherlands on October 10, 2019© Reuters

The Netherlands were expected to be without one of their key men, Lyon forward Memphis Depay, due to restrictions imposed by the French government on travelling during the coronavirus pandemic.

That would have seen Ryan Babel, who is now plying his trade for Galatasaray in Turkey, come into the side, with Steven Berghuis favourite to get the nod on the opposite flank.

However, it has since been confirmed that Depay has been given the all clear to link up with his nation side due to the French government making an exception to the mandatory quarantine regulation.

Tim Krul was selected in goal during the last international break, but Jasper Cillessen has since returned from injury and is likely to start in goal on Wednesday.

As for Turkey, Leicester City midfielder Cengiz Under is unavailable for his side's upcoming fixtures due to injury, so Yusuf Yazici should get the nod out on the right.

The hosts boast plenty of attacking firepower, with Hakan Calhanoglu expected to play just off Cenk Tosun, who has two goals in two appearances for Besiktas.

Galatasaray midfielder Taylan Antalyali and Goztepe winger Halil Akbunar are both in contention to earn their first senior international caps over the next week or so.

Turkey possible starting lineup:
Gunok; Celik, Soyuncu, Demiral, Erkin; Yazici, Turfan, Yokuslu, Calhanoglu, Karaman; Tosun

Netherlands possible starting lineup:
Cillessen; Dumfries, De Ligt, Blind, Wijndal; De Jong, Klaassen; Berghuis, Wijnaldum, Depay; De Jong

SM words green background

We say: Turkey 1-1 Netherlands

The Netherlands' form picked up at the end of 2020 and they are unbeaten in five heading into this new qualifying campaign.

However, Turkey are themselves on a good run, even accounting for a 2-0 loss against Hungary last time out, and have showed over the past two years they can hold the elite nations to a draw.

With that in mind, we are tipping this clash between Group G's top two seeds to finish all square.

Top tip

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Ryan Babel pictured playing for Netherlands in September 2018
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States29352791
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee16222058
Great BritainGreat Britain16181852
Today's Olympic highlights header

Friday's key events

· Great Britain's women aim to secure their place on the podium as they face India in the bronze medal match (2.30am)
· Netherlands - silver medallists five years ago - and Argentina battle for the gold medal in the women's final (11am)

· The women's gold medal will be decided as Australia and USA go head to head (3.30am)

· Lauren Price will be looking to add to Team GB's success in the ring when she takes on Nouchka Fontijn of Netherlands in the women's middleweight semi-final (6am)

· Tom Daley already has one Olympic gold to his name in Tokyo, and he begins his bid for second in the men's 10m platform. Teammate Noah Williams is also involved in the preliminary round (7am)

· Jason Kenny's reign as sprint king may be over, but Jack Carlin looked strong in his bid to succeed his compatriot. He takes on Harrie Lavreysen in his sprint semi-final (8.10am), with the final taking place later in the day (10.35am)
· The women's madison makes its Olympic debut at the velodrome as Team GB duo Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny look to add another medal to their collections (9.15am)

· Hosts Japan will look to get themselves on the podium as they face Mexico in the men's bronze medal match (10am)
· The women's champions will be crowned as both Sweden and Canada aim to win Olympic gold for the very first time (1pm)

· The men's 5000m final includes Great Britain's Andrew Butchart, but most eyes will be on Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei (1pm)
· Team GB's Jodie Williams will hope to get on the podium in the women's 400m final, but defending champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo is favourite for gold while Stephenie Ann McPherson should challenge and Allyson Felix is bidding to become the most decorated female track and field athlete of all time (1.35pm)
· Netherlands' Sifan Hassan takes on leg two of her ambitious attempt at a Tokyo treble in a women's 1500m final which also includes Great Britain's Laura Muir and Faith Kipyegon of Kenya (1.50pm)
· A star-studded women's 4x100m relay final will see a Team GB quartet including Dina Asher-Smith look to upset defending champions USA and favourites Jamaica, who boast Elaine Thompson-Herah as she goes for her third gold of the Games (2.30pm)
· Great Britain and Jamaica will also be going for gold in the men's 4x100m relay final, and their medal hopes have been boosted by USA's failure to qualify (2.50pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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