Today in the last of my 16 blogs, I will look at Turkey who are one of the better underrated sides in the tourney.
On June 7, the Turkish players will step on the pitch and face Portugal in only their 3rd European Championship and will be there first EURO match since 2000. Now, the Turkish have a lot riding on this first match but that should not affect the rest of their matches very effectively. What I mean is that the Turks should just try to come out and play well against the Portuguese. Since the Portuguese are so good, the Turks need to play well and move on as soon as the match is over no matter what happens. If they win they should forget all about it, if they lose they should forget about it, too. If they can keep the match close against Portugal, then they will have tons of confidence and will be a serious threat to both the Czech Republic and Switzerland.
Strength- This team is comprised of players from mostly the Turkish League, which is one of the best in the world, and a few big-name European teams. The strength of this team is the experience of most of the players. Here are a few of the cap numbers : 116, 21, 29, 27, 54, 56, 47, 42, and 55. With that many players that experienced, they shouldn't have to come out and "feel around the pool" so to speak. They also have a great leader and captain in goalkeeper Rustu Recber.
Weakness- The only real weakness that I see is the fact that they don't have star power per say. But they have good enough chemistry just to make up for it, so they should do fine in that area.
Player to Watch- Well, I don't want to get screamed at, so Nihat is the man to watch. The Villareal striker may sound like a Brazilian to many, and play like one but he isn't. He is the out-and-out goalscorer on this team, and if he goes down they will have a very tough time advancing forward. To me, this team looks a lot like Greece, too. And he could just be their catalyst.
Prediction- This team fights from the first kick of the first game to the final whistle of the third game but fall short and finish in 3rd place in Group A. The match between them and the Czechs will decide everything, and I got the Czech Republic barely.
Well, that's it. Not, if you need just one more and somehow can't get enough of me, then come back tomorrow. You know, the reason I only told you who was going to make it out of the groups was because I wanted one more blog to tell you who I thought was going to end up winning. So, tomorrow it'll be part 17 and I'll tell you all about the Quarter-Finals, the Semi-Finals, and the Final. Thanks for all your support and time. Until next time, it's been Keeper and I'm out.