World Cup Qualifying: Estonia-Turkey Preview
Turkey will travel to Estonia to face a nation that was minutes away from defeating the likes of Holland on home ground in a World Cup Qualifier. If they can almost defeat them, defeating the Turks is expected to be a bit easier. However, each match is quite different, and these visitors have it all to play for.
Turkey have Hungary and Romania both hunting for a play-off spot since the Dutch have already guaranteed group leadership. If Turkey win in Estonia and defeat Holland at home, they can guarantee second. They also need the Dutch to defeat the Hungarians at home in order to make this happen.
Coach Fatih Terim masterminded the home 5-0 win over Andorra followed by the 2-0 clean sheet in Romania four days later. He is the right man for the job, but in these final qualifiers his true colors will be shown by the players on the field.
The defense has to be remarkable with the full-backs running backs and forth to be ready to attack for themselves and defend counters from the opponents. The center backs have stay in their own third to protect their keeper at all times. These four guys have to work together and know exactly how and when to distribute the ball and defend.
The midfield is where the creativity will lie, and besides holding onto possession and trying to distribute the ball, they have to run back to help out their defense to force the opponents into making a mistake in the attack so that they themselves can construct a counter.
The attack is obviously responsible for scoring as many goals as possible, but they will also have to drop back in the midfield to help out and perhaps allow others to sprint into scoring positions.
Folks, this is a team that possesses tremendous talent with a coach who knows how to get the job done. However, at the end of the day, the other teams are competitive as well and they have their own game plan, their own fans and own set of players who are coached by experienced professionals. These games will be anything but easy so the red and whites have to be on top of their game.
Character is what makes a man; nervousness is what breaks a man. Turkey need to lean more towards the first in order to succeed.