By Ian S Palmer
The Czech Republic has already locked up a place in next year’s European Championships in France, but Turkey’s status is still up in the air. That’s what makes this Group A clash in Prague such a huge affair on Saturday, October 10. Iceland, the group leaders, have also locked up their spot in the tournament, but first place in the group and bragging rights are still up for grabs and it could improve their seeding for the event. Iceland leads the group with 19 points while the Czech Republic has the same points, but trail on the goal-difference rule. The Czechs and Iceland each came out victorious at home against each other by a 2-1 score.
Czech Republic vs Turkey – bet365 BETTING LINE:
- bet365 currently lists the Czech Republic as the favorite at 6/4 with Turkey 9/5 and a draw at 11/5
The Czech Republic has to play their last two games against teams that are still in the playoff hunt while Iceland has an easier schedule. Iceland’s goal difference after eight games is 12 while the Czech Republic’s is six. The Czechs have six wins, a draw and a loss in the qualifying stage with 16 goals scored and 10 allowed. Turkey is in third place with 12 points from three victories, three draws and two defeats with 11 goals for and nine against. Holland appear to be in a bit of bother as they’re in fourth place with 10 points and are followed by Latvia with four and Kazakhstan with two.
The Czech Republic has won three out of four qualifying matches at home and have also racked up three wins on the road. Turkey finds themselves on the verge of a playoff spot after shutting out Holland 3-0 in their last outing. The Turkish side might have already wrapped things up if they didn’t concede and injury-time goal to Latvia in their 1-1 draw in an earlier game and also give up a last-minute equalizer to the Dutch in Holland. Turkey can guarantee a berth at Euro 2016 with four points from their last final two matches. If they finish tied on points with Holland they’ll advance due to a better head-to-head record against the Dutch.
The going won’t be easy for Turkey since they have to play Iceland at home after their trip to the Czech Republic. Turkey is on quite a roll at the moment as they’re undefeated in their past seven fixtures with five wins and a pair of draws. They’ve also got a four-game unbeaten string going on the road, but have one just once away from home in the qualifying campaign. When these two sides faced off earlier in the group, Turkey took a 1-0 lead at home, but came out on the wrong end of a 2-1 decision. Turkey’s last two visits to the Czech Republic ended up in 3-0 and 4-0 defeats.
The Czech Republic has won all three of their home games by a 2-1 scoreline. The Czechs have three wins, two draws and a loss in their past six games overall while Turkey has three wins, two draws and a loss in their past six away games. Overall, the two teams have met eight times with the Czech Republic winning five, losing two and drawing the other. Burak Yilmaz is expected to miss the match for Turkey due to injury.