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Preview: Turkiye vs. Portugal

Preview: Turkiye vs. Portugal

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The two top teams in Group F after the first round of games, but Türkiye and Portugal attained their victories in very different manners. The Turks were well-organised, had a good buildup game plan and scored some absolute crackers; Portugal were totally dominant and filled with star names, but needed patience, fortune and one of the deepest benches at the whole of Euro 2024 to come from behind late on.


By Karl Matchett


It’s now quickly become impossible to talk Türkiye without mentioning Arda Güler, though, so we may as well start there. His spectacular, inch-perfect goal was the highlight but he was busy throughout, taking up clever positions, showing that tremendous first touch of his and making sure he was free as an out-ball on counters. Playing both in the channel and more centrally, his crucial impact was seen not just in the number of times he tried to take on his man, but in his willingness to go beyond Türkiye’s roving striker, Barış Alper Yılmaz. Güler had four touches in the box – no teammate managed more – and created three shooting chances for his side.

Between him, Yılmaz and Kenan Yıldız there’s a real functionality and cohesion in the attack, but behind them the midfield showed both faces during that opening game, good and bad. Kaan Ayhan was a ferocious workhorse, almost scored and showed moments of great quality, but Türkiye were also overrun at times, pegged back by Georgia’s system as much as their on-the-ball quality, and Portugal are nominally in a similar shape with their wing-backs.

Roberto Martínez’s side did utilise them very differently, though, which is perhaps to say…oddly. The use of João Cancelo from wide coming inside is by now a norm, but in a back four rather than from wing-back. It gave Nuno Mendes a huge volume of ground to cover and certainly didn’t get the best out of him on the overlap.

The midfield balance wasn’t quite there either, Vitinha and Bruno Fernandes sometimes stuck passing the ball between themselves without really progressing it, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see João Palhinha or a similar option come into the side to add some balance against a team who will attack them far more than Czechia did.

It’s the inverse of an all-or-nothing game in some respects, with both nations already having claimed a win, but if top spot is the aim and a potentially easier last-16 tie, then this is the game to go all-out in, safe in the knowledge that game three can be the safety net if an attacking nature backfires and a a point or more is still needed.


(Cover image from IMAGO)


You can follow every game from Euro 2024 live with FotMob — featuring deep stats coverage, xG, and player ratings. Download the free app here.

Preview: Turkiye vs. Portugal

The two top teams in Group F after the first round of games, but Türkiye and Portugal attained their victories in very different manners. The Turks were well-organised, had a good buildup game plan and scored some absolute crackers; Portugal were totally dominant and filled with star names, but needed patience, fortune and one of the deepest benches at the whole of Euro 2024 to come from behind late on.


By Karl Matchett


It’s now quickly become impossible to talk Türkiye without mentioning Arda Güler, though, so we may as well start there. His spectacular, inch-perfect goal was the highlight but he was busy throughout, taking up clever positions, showing that tremendous first touch of his and making sure he was free as an out-ball on counters. Playing both in the channel and more centrally, his crucial impact was seen not just in the number of times he tried to take on his man, but in his willingness to go beyond Türkiye’s roving striker, Barış Alper Yılmaz. Güler had four touches in the box – no teammate managed more – and created three shooting chances for his side.

Between him, Yılmaz and Kenan Yıldız there’s a real functionality and cohesion in the attack, but behind them the midfield showed both faces during that opening game, good and bad. Kaan Ayhan was a ferocious workhorse, almost scored and showed moments of great quality, but Türkiye were also overrun at times, pegged back by Georgia’s system as much as their on-the-ball quality, and Portugal are nominally in a similar shape with their wing-backs.

Roberto Martínez’s side did utilise them very differently, though, which is perhaps to say…oddly. The use of João Cancelo from wide coming inside is by now a norm, but in a back four rather than from wing-back. It gave Nuno Mendes a huge volume of ground to cover and certainly didn’t get the best out of him on the overlap.

The midfield balance wasn’t quite there either, Vitinha and Bruno Fernandes sometimes stuck passing the ball between themselves without really progressing it, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see João Palhinha or a similar option come into the side to add some balance against a team who will attack them far more than Czechia did.

It’s the inverse of an all-or-nothing game in some respects, with both nations already having claimed a win, but if top spot is the aim and a potentially easier last-16 tie, then this is the game to go all-out in, safe in the knowledge that game three can be the safety net if an attacking nature backfires and a a point or more is still needed.


(Cover image from IMAGO)


You can follow every game from Euro 2024 live with FotMob — featuring deep stats coverage, xG, and player ratings. Download the free app here.