Coach Fatih Terim makes push to save Euro campaign
Turkey will face Latvia tonight for their fifth tussle since 1924. Turkey has bad memories of Latvia after falling to the Baltic nation in a playoff for Euro 2004.Coach Fatih Terim reportedly plans major changes in Turkey’s squad against Latvia tonight after the team lost its first two games in the Euro 2016 qualification campaign.
Turkey lost 2-1 at home to Czech Republic on Oct. 10, being dealt a major blow to its bid to attend the final tournament.
According to the Turkish media reports, Terim, who has already been forced to make changes in the squad due to injuries, will sideline goalkeeper Tolga Zengin and start the Latvia game either with Manisaspor’s Volkan Babacan or Fenerbahçe’s substitute goalkeeper Mert Günok. The experienced coach, who was furious at his defensive line after the second goal conceded in the Czech Republic game, plans to replace Selçuk İnan and Gökhan Töre in the starting 11, according to the reports. Tonight’s game will be the countries’ fifth tussle since they first met in 1924, Turkey beating the host side 3-1 in Riga. The sides’ most recent head-to-head was a friendly in Duisburg, Germany, on May 28, 2013, in which Turkey twice let slip a two-goal lead to draw 3-3.
The two sides’ most famous meetings came in the Euro 2004 playoffs when Aleksandrs Starkovs’ men won 1-0 at home and then came back from 2-0 down against Senol Güneş’s team to draw 2-2 in Istanbul and make it to the finals of a major international tournament for the first time.
Turkey currently sits at the bottom of Group A standings with 0 points. Also tonight in Group A, Iceland, which made a magnificent start to its campaign and increased its points to six with a 3-0 victory at Latvia on Oct. 11, hosts group favorite the Netherlands in Reykjavik.