Ok, Turkey doesn’t need a win. A draw can be enough but then Romania has to lose points against Estonia and this is something I do not see happening. So the Turks have the ability to decide their own fate.
The squad of coach Fatim Terim is on a winning streak after Terim became head coach, winning three games in a row all with clean sheets. Their latest win was last Friday, when they managed to defeat Estonia in an away match, 0-2.
But The Netherlands has proven to be a difficult opponent for Turkey in the past. They have not scored a win against them since 1998 and the last two encounters were lost. Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal also boasts a superior record over his counterpart with two victories in the two games against Fatih Terim.
Just like Terim’s team, Louis van Gaal’s men are on a roll. The Dutch squad is working on the most productive World Cup qualifier ever. They scored 32 goals so far with one more match to go. The previous record stood at 30 goals during the 2002 WC qualifier.
Eight of those 32 goals were made last Friday in Amsterdam, when The Netherlands set aside Hungary with 8-1. This match was a perfect example of how the team should operate; pressure the opponent as soon as you lose possession and attack with fast combinations.
Van Persie breaks ten year old record
One player that left his mark on the game against Hungary is Manchester United striker Robin van Persie. Van Persie scored three times which made him the all time top scorer of The Netherlands, with 41 goals.
Former Ajax and FC Barcelona forward Patrick Kluivert held the record over the last ten years. He managed to score 40 times while wearing the jersey of the Dutch national team. Funny fact is that Kluivert is currently an assistant coach of The Netherlands so he could witness Van Persie breaking his record from the bench.
Turkey without Sahin and Erkin
Turkey will have to play this game without Borussia Dortmund midfielder Nari Sahin. Sahin is suffering from an ankle injury he sustained in the league match against Monchengladbach.
Sahin is not the only player missing this crucial game. Explosive left-winger Caner Erkin will also have to sit out but he isn’t injured. He is suspended due to a yellow card against Estonia.
Volkan - Gökhan G., Ömer, Semih, Gulum - Selçuk, Gökhan T., Mehmet T., Arda - Umut, Burak.
Vorm – Janmaat, Bruma, Vlaar, Blind – Clasie, Van der Vaart, Strootman – Lens, Robben, Van Persie.
Like I said at the beginning of this article, I do not see Romania dropping points in their match against Estonia. This means that Turkey has to win in order to qualify.
That raises the question; how can they beat this Dutch team? Well, they will have to go on the offensive. The midfield and attack of The Netherlands are used to playing defensive teams. And they are gifted at creating chances against these types of opponents.
But going on the offensive means leaving a lot of space behind your defense. This can form a problem as well. With Robben and Lens, The Netherlands has two fast wingers who love using that space. Combine them with a gifted striker as Van Persie and your defense is in trouble.
Another problem for them is that The Netherlands need a win as well. True, the Dutch are already placed for the WC but in order to become a group leader in Brazil next year they need to defeat Turkey.
The only way I can see Turkey win this is, is if they score first. When they manage to do that, they can play more defensive. But even then I believe The Netherlands will score at least once.
My prediction is:
Turkey 1 – 3 The Netherlands