Turkey and Croatia will be facing one another, Sunday, June 12, as the two nations, considered to be the dark horses of Group D, start their quest for the Euro 2016 Championship at Parc des Princes in Paris.
Turkey reached the semifinal during Euro 2008 Championship, which is also the year it last participated in this tournament. It will be a comeback appearance for Turkey this time around and it has to contend with high expectations from fans and supporters.
Also read: Euro 2016 Groups Schedule
It was Croatia that Turkey defeated in Euro 2008 in Vienna on their way to the semi-finals, which they eventually lost to Germany.
However, the present Croatian squad is considered a competitive team in Group D with an even stronger midfield than that of Turkey on paper, according Yibada.
Match a Tough Call
Euro 2016 predictions for Turkey vs Croatia are both tricky and tough to call given the All-Star lineups of both teams. Which side wins will come down to how both teams conduct their defense.
Croatia Star Studded Team
The Croatian team has a star-studded midfield players that includes Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic, Real Madrid’s Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic, Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic, and Fiorentina’s Milan Badelj.
Meanwhile Croatia’s frontline is also as deep with Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic leading the charge. There are also Fiorentina’s Nikola Kalinic, Hoffenheim’s Andrej Kramaric, and Malaga’s Duje Cop, all top scorers with their respective clubs.
This is the reason why Croatia is looking more dangerous than they have at any point after it lost to Turkey eight years ago, according the Independent.
Turkey’s Deep Midfield
Turkey meanwhile has its deep midfield, which include some of the best free kick shooters in the world, such as Bayer Leverkusen’s Hakan Calhanoglu, Barcelona’s Arda Turan, and Galatasaray’s Selcik Inan.
Added to this is their reliable frontline, which includes Beijing Guoan striker Burak Yılmaz in the middle and two Borussia Dortmund stalwarts Nuri Sahin and 18-year-old Emre Mor.
Croatia and Turkey have met six times at senior level, and it’s the Balkan nation that has the upper hand, winning two of those matches against one for Turkey. The three remaining games were draws.
Euro 2016 prediction has Croatia winning 2-1.