European Championship Last 16: Austria – Turkey

As the last 16 continues, Austria and Turkey clash this Tuesday at 18.00 in the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig. Both teams enter the match with high hopes after eventful group-stage campaigns, with the winner set to face either the Netherlands or Romania in the quarter-finals. Given their impressive performances, this match promises to be one of the most intriguing and balanced encounters of the tournament.

Austria Team News

Austria’s main concern is the suspension of Wolfsburg winger Patrick Wimmer. Coach Ralf Rangnick is likely to replace him with either Konrad Laimer or Christoph Baumgartner, the latter of whom has been instrumental in Austria’s attack with nine goal involvements in his last eight international appearances. The battle to lead the attack will likely see Marko Arnautovic competing with Michael Gregoritsch. Rangnick, returning to Leipzig where he once found significant success, will aim to continue Austria’s strong form. The team remains well-organized and highly disciplined, attributes that have been key to their recent success.

Turkey Team News

Turkey faces some critical absences as captain Hakan Calhanoglu and centre-back Samet Akaydin are both suspended. Akaydin also struggles with a muscle strain, further complicating Turkey’s defensive lineup. First-choice goalkeeper Mert Gunok has been dealing with a knee injury but is expected to start. Coach Vincenzo Montella may look to Abdulkerim Bardakci and Merih Demiral to shore up the defense, with Ferdi Kadioglu, who created the most chances from open play in the group stage, likely to start at left-back. Young talents Kenan Yildiz and Arda Guler could play crucial roles, highlighting Turkey’s youthful potential.

Austria Form

Austria’s journey to the knockout stages has been impressive. After an opening defeat to France, they bounced back with victories over Poland and the Netherlands, finishing top of their group. Rangnick’s men have shown resilience and tactical acumen, attributes that have been evident in their recent performances. Austria aims to reach their first European Championship quarter-final, building on a solid foundation established over the last two years under Rangnick’s leadership.

Turkey Form

Turkey’s path to the last 16 has been dramatic. They secured their spot with a last-minute victory over the Czech Republic, with veteran striker Cenk Tosun scoring a decisive goal. Despite a heavy loss to Portugal, Turkey’s youthful squad, managed by Montella, has displayed moments of brilliance. Turkey’s performance will depend on how well they can compensate for the absence of key players like Calhanoglu.

What do the stats say?

  • Austria have won 14 of their last 19 matches under Ralf Rangnick.
  • Turkey are unbeaten in their last five competitive games against Austria, all of which included clean sheets.
  • Austria recently defeated Turkey 6-1 in a friendly match in March.

Our verdict

While Austria comes into this match as the favorites due to their recent form and tactical discipline, Turkey’s youthful exuberance and attacking potential cannot be underestimated. Austria’s pressing game, combined with Turkey’s defensive vulnerabilities and absence of key players, gives Austria a slight edge. However, if Turkey can harness their attacking talents and maintain defensive solidity, they could pose a significant challenge.

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