Injuries hit Turkey ahead of Czech Republic clash
Coach Fatih Terim talks to Arda Turan (R) of Atletico Madrid during the warm up before a training session in Istanbul. AA PhotoTurkey’s national football team has been hit by an injury crisis ahead of the key Oct. 10 match against the Czech Republic in its 2016 European Championship qualifying campaign.
Six players have been removed from the squad in the last two days and two players have missed training sessions due to injuries.
Coach Fatih Terim may have to revise his game plan against the Czechs as Fenerbahçe goalkeeper Volkan Demirel (hernia), Galatasaray striker Burak Yılmaz (bone edema), Beşiktaş striker Mustafa Pektemek (quadriceps strain) and Bayer Leverkusen defender Ömer Toprak (torn gastrocnemius) and his teammate midfielder Hakan Çalhanoğlu (torn soleus) have all been removed from the squad. They will also miss the third game in the group, against Latvia on Oct. 14.
Schalke 04’s 19-year-old defender Kaan Ayhan had also previously been removed from the squad.
Toprak and Yılmaz were in the starting 11 against Iceland in Turkey’s campaign opener on Sept. 9, while Pektemek and Çalhanoğlu played in the second half as substitutes. Turkey lost the game in Rejkavik 3-0.
In addition, injuries caused midfielder Mehmet Topal and winger Gökhan Gönül to miss training on Oct. 6. The Fenarbahçe players are currently under treatment and they are unlikely to be able to play by the match against the Czech Republic.
To replace the injured players, Terim called on Fenerbahçe substitute goalkeeper Mert Günok, Kasımpaşaspor forward Adem Büyük and Gaziantepspor’s striker Muhammed Demir to join the squad.
Turkey will host the Czech Republic at Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadium, Fenerbahçe's home stadium on Istanbul's Asian side. The game will kick off at 8:45 p.m, and tickets are available on the Turkish Football Federation’s (TFF) website.