Turkey have their work cut out for them on Friday and next Tuesday when they host Andorra and travel to Romania respectively, with six much-needed points there for the taking. With coach Fatih Terim back at the helm, the players can be rest assured that they are in capable hands ahead of these grudge matches, if you will.
Terim is busy coaching Galatasaray at the club level and due to all of his success in recent times, he has been re-chosen to head the Turkish national team to some more glory (EURO 2008 semifinals).
Will there be any guarantee of this? Absolutely not, but it is more than worth a try as this is a team that has been deprived of spots on international tournaments since that very year.
Now, with a squad that is fully capable of winning matches with good influential play, he has to figure out a way to put a solid team together. Here is what he can do with what he has:
Instead of playing a safe 4-2-3-1, he needs to play either a 4-4-2, or a 4-4-2 diamond to get the very best out of his players. Of all of the players he called up, this should be his starting line-up:
Goal keeper: Volkan Demirel
Defense: Gokhan Gonul, Semih Kaya, Omer Toprak, Hasan Ali
Midfield: Arda Turan, Nuri Sahin, Selcuk Inan, Alper Potuk
Attack: Burak Yilmaz, Umut Bulut
These 11 starters can definitely gel together to create a brilliant overall effort. Gonul and Ali as the wing-backs running their respective flanks to help the attack and halt opposing plays. Kaya and Toprak are studs in the centers of the back line who can head or kick the ball away from danger. They are responsible for cleaning up all types of messes in that area.
Turan and Inan are the creative attacking-midfielders who have to dig deep down to make some magic realistic. Turan’s pace and skill will create openings for teammates, while Inan’s precise passing and ability to score from set pieces will also be crucial.
Sahin and Potuk are responsible for holding down the fort in the central third to compose their teammates when it comes to both defending and attacking. They can also push the ball up and make that smart pass before their attackers take over.
Yilmaz and Bulut are veterans when it comes to scoring. Both played together in Trabzon and now for Gala, which makes them dangerous when put together in the final third. They will have a lot of pressure on their shoulders for these two fixtures.
If Terim chooses this team sheet, they will defeat Andorra at home and perhaps even squeak out a win in Romania. Winning is all that should be on his mind as these two games are mandatory wins in the making.