Turkey eyes Euro 2020 berth under new coach
Turkey starts its campaign to qualify for the 2020 European Football Championships on March 22 against Albania under a new coach.
Beşiktaş coach Şenol Güneş, who replaced Mircea Lucescu earlier this month, has promised a “national team to be proud of.”
“A new era starts in the national team with the games against Albania and Moldova,” Güneş told a press conference on March 18.
“Our initial target will be to qualify for Euro 2020. I’m here for the targets of the European Championships and the World Cup. Are we going to watch these tournaments at home or be a part of them? We start with a dream, I promise a national team to be proud of,” he added.
Turkey will be in Group H of the qualification stage, competing against France, Iceland, Albania, Moldova and Andorra. Following the Albania game, Turkey will host Moldova in Eskişehir on March 25.
Güneş said he would have preferred to start with a game against group favorite France.
“The games against Albania and Moldova seem to be easy on paper, but I would have preferred to start against France,” the coach said.
“We would have had the advantage to make things better even if we had lost. Our biggest opponents in the group will be France and Iceland, but a draw has been made and we will play against all teams in the group with the aim of advancing.”
The top two teams in the group will advance for the final tournament in 2020, which will be played across 12 different countries.
Albania punched above its weight to get to EURO 2016, and did not disgrace itself even if it failed to survive the group stage.