Sunday, June 13, 2021

Prediction: Turkey vs Azerbaijan

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 26 May 2021

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Verdict: Turkey win by 2+ goals

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Unibet

Getting their preparations underway ahead of this summer’s European Championships, Turkey will welcome Azerbaijan to Alanya for a friendly showdown on Thursday evening.

Turkey

Starting with the hosts, while Turkey might have enjoyed a stunning start to their World Cup qualifying campaign, Şenol Güneş’ side will be desperate to prove their collapse against Latvia was just a minor blip. Shocking many across Europe as they threw away the lead twice and eventually had to settle for a stunning 3-3 draw on home soil, the one-time Trabzonspor boss has still seen his squad gain plenty of plaudits over the past two years. Laying down what was the most eye-catching of markers as they opened their Group G campaign with a 4-2 win against Holland in İstanbul two months ago, Turkey have also snatched points off of the likes of Germany and France on their purple patch. Opening their 2022 World Cup qualifying by collecting seven points from a possible nine, there is no doubt that Güneş will be hoping for his side to find some much-needed stability at the back. Including shipping a trio of goals against Latvia last time out, Turkey have conceded over 1.5 goals in seven contests on the spin.

Team News

The likes of Caglar Soyuncu, Hakan Calhanoglu and Yusuf Yazici have all been included in Şenol Güneş’ squad.

However, suffering a knee injury, Turkey have already confirmed that striker Cenk Tosun will miss this summer’s European Championships.

Azerbaijan

As for the visitors, while Turkey might have largely impressed over the past two years, Azerbaijan have only continued on what has been an extended blip. Opening up their World Cup qualifying campaign with tricky back-to-back meetings against Portugal and Serbia, The Blues were hit with 1-0 and 2-1 defeats and are already a landslide pick to lift the wooden spoon in Group A. With a sluggish 2-1 loss against Qatar in a friendly contest sandwiched between those two Group A defeats, Head Coach Gianni De Biasi has seen his side fail to win any of their last eight matchups across all formats, a run that stems back to September 2020. Failing to come past the likes of Luxembourg and Cyprus on their torrid run of form, Azerbaijan have also continued to struggle while on foreign soil. Last seen on the road getting hit with that 2-1 loss against Qatar, Thursday’s guests have also recorded just a single away goal in any of their last five attempts.

Team News

Striker Anatoliy Nuriyev remains a real doubt on Thursday evening and is not expected to feature.

The Qarabag duo of Maksim Medvedev and Badavi Huseynov have been included in Azerbaijan’s squad.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two nations last faced off back in 2011, Turkey picked up a 1-0 victory.
    • Thursday’s hosts have scored 10 goals in their last three matchups.
    • However, Turkey have shipped over 1.5 goals in their last seven contests on the spin.
    • Azerbaijan have failed to win any of their last five matchups across all formats.
    • Likewise, The Blues have scored just a single goal in any of their last five fixtures on foreign soil.

    Conclusion

    While Turkey might have been left heartbroken to have eventually played out that stunning 3-3 draw against Latvia last time out, Thursday’s hosts should be smelling a golden chance in midweek. Looking to pick up some perfect momentum heading into this summer’s European Championships, Şenol Güneş’ side have largely impressed over the past two years. Snatching victories against the likes of reigning world champions France and Holland, a struggling Azerbaijan should face a stern test in Alanya. Suffering three defeats on the spin, including a 2-1 defeat against Qatar earlier in the year, we’re backing what should be a routine home victory for Turkey this week.

    Verdict: Turkey win by 2+ goals

    Best Odds: 10/11

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    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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