Friday, July 12, 2024

Prediction: Turkey vs Georgia

Verdict: Turkey win

Best odds: 67/100

Bookmaker: ZetBet

Group F at Euro 2024 kicks off on Tuesday evening in Dortmund with Turkey facing Georgia in what could be a pivotal match in the group.

With Portugal and Czech Republic also in the group, and Portugal the heavy favorites to top the table, the remaining three teams will likely be competing for second place.

Turkey

Turkey’s best performance in a European Championship was reaching the semi-finals in 2008, but they failed to progress past the group stages at both Euro 2016 and Euro 2020.

The Crescent-Stars are aiming to advance to the round of 16 in this tournament and are favored to win against Georgia on matchday one.

Vincenzo Montella’s men enter the tournament after a 2-1 loss to Poland and have not won any of their last five matches, with three defeats in that span.

Turkey’s final Euro 2024 qualifier ended in a 1-1 draw with Wales on November 21, but they topped Group D, finishing ahead of Croatia with 17 points from eight matches.

Turkey will face Georgia for the sixth time on Tuesday, having won three of their previous five encounters, including a 3-1 victory in their last match, though it was an international friendly back in May 2012.

Team News

Turkey lost Enes Unal, Çağlar Soyuncu and Ozan Kabak to injuries ahead of the tournament, and cut Dogan Alemdar, Cenk Ozkacar, Berat Ozdemir, Can Uzun, Abdulkadir Omur and Oguz Aydın from the preliminary squad.

Kerem Akturkoglu, with five goals in 29 appearances for Turkey, will probably start in the attacking line. Juventus’ Kenan Yildiz is expected to play as the number 10, likely behind Barıis Alper Yilmaz.

Merih Demiral is nailed-on to start in central defence, while Hakan Çalhanoglu should be captaining the team from midfield.

Real Madrid’s Arda Guler is also expected to start in the Euro 2024 opener, having impressed at Real Madrid in limited action last season.

Georgia

Georgia are set to make their debut at a major tournament at Euro 2024, and with a number of high-quality players in their ranks, it should be interesting to see how they perform.

Willy Sagnol’s team secured their tournament spot by beating Greece on penalties in the play-offs. Since that historic win, Georgia have only played one match, a 3-1 friendly victory over Montenegro on June 9th.

The limited preparations might be a challenge, but the group fixtures could work in their favor, as they won’t face Portugal until matchday three. By then, Portugal might have already secured a knockout stage spot and could rest key players.

Georgia’s standout player is Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, the winger who has scored 15 goals in 30 appearances for the national team and plays for Napoli. Other notable players include Valencia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili, Slovan Bratislava’s Guram Kashia, and Watford’s Giorgi Chakvetadze, indicating that the Crusaders have the potential to cause upsets at this summer’s tournament.

Team News

Solomon Kvirkvelia is expected to recover from his injury to start in central defence, with Giorgi Gvelesiani on standby if Kvirkvelia isn’t fit to play. Otar Kiteishvili, who left the Montenegro game early due to an injury, is also anticipated to be ready to play in midfield for Willy Sagnol’s team.

Georges Mikautadze, with 10 goals in 25 international appearances, is set to join Khvicha Kvaratskhelia in the attack.

Jaba Kankava, initially named in the squad, has been replaced by Gabriel Sigua, and the 18-year-old might earn his second international cap  in this match.

Conclusion

Georgia are certainly able to cause problems for Turkey, and they are likely to score their first-ever goal at a European Championship in this match. However, Turkey have the superior overall quality, and it should prove enough to secure a victory in their tournament opener on Tuesday night.

Verdict: Turkey win

Best odds: 67/100

Bookmaker: ZetBet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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