Turkey play host to the Netherlands at Ataturk Olympic Stadium on Wednesday for the opening clash in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers as the two get UEFA’s Group G underway. The two countries share deep links, and both could do with getting the better of the other to make a swift start to this process.
Frank de Boer is now Dutch coach and while his team is solid, they are far from spectacular, while the Turks have plenty of talent that it is up to Senol Gunes to mold into a successful squad. With Erling Haaland’s Norway also in the group, neither team can afford too many slip ups during this qualification campaign.
Here is how you can watch the match and what to know:
Back in his second spell in charge of the Crescent Stars, Gunes is having a tough time and his team finished bottom of League B Group 3 of UEFA’s Nations League.
Talented Lille OSC trio Burak Yilmaz, Yusuf Yazici and Zeki Celik combine with the likes of AC Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu and Leicester City’s Caglar Soyuncu to form a formidable group on paper.
However, Turkey’s last appearance at a World Cup was under Gunes back in 2002 when they stunned the world with a third-place finish in their first appearance since 1954. Internationally, they’ve had more frequent appearances at Euros where they reached the 2008 semi-finals.