PREVIEW: Euro 2008 Group A, Switzerland vs. Turkey
Wednesday, June 11, Kickoff CET
Basel (Switzerland) – Travel to Basel
THE BIG PICTURE
The two zero-point teams of Group A go head-to-head. Will one of them end the day with all three points and a spot in the middle of the table? Or will they settle for a draw and continue to share the cellar?
Three Key Players:
- Marco Streller has already announced his retirement after this tournament. He’d like to go out with a bang, but wasn’t terribly impressive against the Czechs on Sunday. He’s going to want to make up for that here.
- Tranquillo Barnetta can provide Switzerland’s creative spark from the midfield if anybody can.
- Hakan Yakin may get his chance now that Frei is injured. Will he be able to capitalize?
The big news since the last game is that captain Alex Frei is out with a longterm knee injury. (If you watched him being taken off for treatment during the last game and didn’t want to cry yourself, your heart is made of stone.)
Other than that, though, the team is healthy and looking to this game to change their fortunes.
Visit Jan at the Switzerland Euro 2008 Team Blog for more.
Three Key Players:
- Kazim Kazim at right midfield was one of the bright spots in Saturday’s game against Portugal. If he can find teammates to connect with, he could be a real threat.
- Nihat Kahveci, according to our stats wizard Ian, reached a peak speed on Saturday of 31.11 kilometers per hour, but finished with nothing to show for it. If Turkey can harness that speed, Kahveci could be lethal.
- Mehmet Aurelio is a hardworking, hard-running, Brazilian-born midfielder who’s going to need all of his skills to help see this team through. (And with luck, he’ll keep his studs away from his opponents’ legs this game.)
Central defender Gökhan Zan will miss this game after suffering damanged knee ligaments on Saturday. And worse, his partner, Servet Çetin suffered a similar injury and is doubtful for the match. And now midfielder Emre Belozoglu is out as well, possibly for the entire tournament, after tearing a hamstring in training.
Not good news for Turkey.
Visit Musab at the Turkey Euro 2008 Team Blog for more.
Switzerland offense vs Turkey defense
Switzerland will be missing captain and key striker Alex Frei. Turkey will definitely be missing central defender Gökhan Zan and may be missing his partner Servet Çetin. Which injuries will do more damage to their respective teams?
Both teams vs Old hard feeling
The last time these two teams met, back in 2005 in Istanbul, they fought through a World Cup qualifying game that cost Turkey a chance at WC ‘06. That game ended with a brawl in the tunnel after the match. With the loser of this game almost certainly out, feelings will be running high here as well. Will that spill over onto the field?
Turkey coach Fatih Terim vs Turkish public opinion
Terim took a lot of the blame for the weekend’s loss to a stronger Portugal side, much of it centering on his playing out-of-form players. A win might put him back in the public’s good graces. If Turkey suffers a loss, with the resulting bottom-of-table placement, he might be joining Italy’s Donadoni in needing to dust off his resume.
Having Zan out is more likely a plus for our side, but losing Emre is a huge minus. Here’s hoping Frei really was the entire Swiss offense, and we can manage a win today. If not, Fatih has much to answer for and Sükür will get the last laugh.
I hope we can win the game tonight, hopefully with 2 goals, it would be good for the standings.
I wrote a very long game preview on my blog, for any fans who have some time to read it, the link is below:
Posted from Italy
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