Monday, December 9, 2019

Prediction: Iceland vs Turkey

Verdict: Turkey draw no bet

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: Bet365

With the chance to extend their buffer at the top of Group H, a revitalized Turkey will travel to Iceland on Tuesday night.

Iceland

Starting with the hosts, while Iceland may have lost all four of their inaugural UEFA Nations League appearances and suffered relegation to League B when the tournament comes back around in 2021, few would have expected their eye-catching start to qualification. Coming off the back of picking up a hard-fought 1-0 win over Albania on Saturday, Head Coach Erik Hamrén has seen his side win two of their opening three Group H outings and only their goal difference sees them sat behind France in the race to land a spot at next summers European championships. While a 4-0 hammering at the hands of the defending world champions might be Iceland’s only defeat in their last six matches across all competitions, there still remains plenty of question marks over Reykjavík. Aside from their close-fought victory over Albania last weekend, Tuesday’s hosts have failed to win any of their other eight appearances in front of their own supporters, a run that stems back to October 2017.

Team News

Erik Hamren decided against calling in goalkeeper Ingvar Jonsson, midfielder Arnot Smarason, and forward Alfred Finnbogason to his squad. Meanwhile, forward Bjorn Sigurdarson and defender Holmar Eyjolfsson miss out via injuries.

Turkey

As for the visitors, after picking up a historic 2-0 win over France last weekend, few across Europe would have expected Turkey’s stellar start to life in Group H. Clearly showing no signs of a hangover since suffering relegation to League C in the inaugural Nations League campaign, Şenol Güneş’ men now find their confidence the highest it has been in recent memory. Desperate to secure a return at a major tournament after missing out on a spot in Russia last summer, the Reds have won each of their three opening Group H matchups and now find themselves sat three points clear of Les Bleus at the top of the group. Also enjoying a five-match winning run across all competitions and yet to taste defeat since back in November, a huge part of Turkey’s recent revival has come down to their newfound defensive resolve. Along with recording yet another clean sheet against the defending world champions over the weekend, Tuesday’s hosts have kept six clean sheets on the bounce and have also lost just one match on the road since November 2017.

Team News

Senol Gunes made some big calls in the win over France, leaving out players like Cenk Tosun and Hakan Calhanoglu, but it paid off. Apart from that, he will be without goalkeeper Volkan Babacan, defender Serdar Aziz, and midfielder Emre Akbaba due to injury woes.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Turkey have won each of their opening three Group H matches and are enjoying a five-match winning run across all competitions.
  • The Reds have also recorded six consecutive clean sheets.
  • Iceland have won just one of their last eight matches on home soil.
  • Tuesday’s hosts have won three of their last four matches against Turkey.

Conclusion

While Iceland may hold a very impressive record when up against Turkey, Tuesday’s visitors find their confidence on a high and will be believing that they can extend their buffer at the top of Group H. Given the Reds’ five-match winning run, coupled with Iceland’s recent issues in Reykjavík, we’re backing Turkey with a draw no bet in midweek.

Verdict: Turkey draw no bet

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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