Portugal vs Turkey

June 1, 2012
By: John Hansen

Following a goalless draw with FYR Macedonia, Portugal need a morale-boosting victory in their final test before the start of the European Championship. Turkey, on the other hand, have already played three friendly games in May, winning two of them, but this will be the first match against a top European side.

Important game for Portugal

For the second successive time, Portugal beat Bosnia-Hercegovina in the play-offs to reach major tournament finals, but they have been dealt a tough Euro 2012 draw. The Selecao were placed in the same group as title contenders Germany and Netherlands, as well as Denmark, a side that had won the first place in their Euro 2012 qualifying group. Nonetheless, with players like Pepe, Nani, Ronaldo and Meireles in the side, Portugal clearly have enough quality to mount a serious challenge for top two places in the group and they have no reason to fear any national team in the world. Coach Paulo Bento revealed he was not worried by the goalless draw with FYR Macedonia in their last friendly game, but his men are expected to give their best to beat Turkey and thus improve the atmosphere in the squad.

Silvestre Varela and Ricardo Quaresma have resumed full training, meaning that Paulo Bento now has fully fit squad to choose from.

A new era for Turkey

Once again Turkey have missed out on a major tournament, proving that this national team are currently on a major downtrend. Boss Guus Hiddink left the post following the play-off defeat to Croatia, leaving the reigns to virtually unknown Abdullah Avci. The coach, who won the Under-17 World Cup with Turkey a way back, scheduled no less than five friendly games in May and June, as he wanted to test some new players and see who he can count on for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. Turkey managed to beat Georgia and Bulgaria, but lost to Finland in their first three friendly games, with boss Avci constantly experimenting with his starting line-up. He is now expected to field a very strong side for the Portugal game, but that may not be enough for a positive result at Estadio La Luz in Lisbon.

Super Lig top scorer Burak Yilmaz is expected to start as a lone striker, with Arda Turan and Gokhan Tore playing just behind him.


Portugal may have slipped up against FYR Macedonia, but they are expected to take this final test very seriously and record a morale-boosting victory. Turkish players could be tired after playing so many games in such a short period of time, and they could find it hard to match one of the best national teams in the world.

Our prediction: Home win

Odds: 1.57 (4/7)

Bookmaker: Stan James

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