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European Championship | Group Stage
Jun 18, 2024 at 5pm UK

3 - 1

Muldur (25'), Guler (65'), Akturkoglu (90+7')
Bardakci (35'), Calhanoglu (89')
FT(HT: 1-1)

Preview: Turkey vs. Georgia - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Turkey vs. Georgia - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's European Championship clash between Turkey and Georgia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Group F at Euro 2024 will get underway on Tuesday evening in Dortmund, with Turkey and Georgia locking horns for what is likely to be a very important match in the section.

Portugal and Czech Republic are also present in the group, and while the former are the huge favourites to finish at the summit, the other three teams will be eyeing second position.

Match preview

Turkey's best-ever performance in a European Championship came back in 2008, when they reached the semi-finals of the competition, but they were eliminated in the group stage of both Euro 2016 and Euro 2020.

The Crescent-Stars will be expecting to pick up enough points to progress to the round of 16 from this section, though, and they will be the favourites to overcome Georgia on matchday one.

Vincenzo Montella's side will enter the tournament off the back of a 2-1 defeat to Poland, and they have not actually been victorious in any of their last five matches, suffering three defeats in the process.

Turkey's final Euro 2024 qualification fixture ended in a 1-1 draw with Wales on November 21, but a strong campaign saw them top Group D ahead of Croatia, picking up 17 points from their eight matches.

The national side will be tackling Georgia for just the sixth time on Tuesday, and they have been victorious in three of their previous five match-ups, including a 3-1 success when the two sides last locked horns in an international friendly back in May 2012.

Georgia, meanwhile, are preparing to take to the field at a major tournament for the first time in their history, and it will be fascinating to see how the national side perform this summer.

Willy Sagnol's side beat Greece on penalties in the playoffs to secure their spot at the tournament, and they have only actually played once since that historic night, beating Montenegro 3-1 in a friendly on June 9.

Whether a lack of preparation hurts them remains to be seen, but the fixture list in the group could work in their favour, as they will avoid Portugal until matchday three, and Roberto Martinez's side could potentially have booked their spot in the knockout round by that point, which would likely lead to key players being rested.

Georgia's standout player is Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, with the 23-year-old, who plays his club football for Napoli, scoring 15 goals in 30 appearances for his national side.

However, Valencia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili, Slovan Bratislava's Guram Kashia and Watford's Giorgi Chakvetadze are also notable inclusions, and there is no question that the Crusaders have the talent to surprise a few at this summer's tournament.

Georgia have only ever beaten Turkey on one occasion, with the success in question coming in an international friendly back in February 2007, when David Siradze netted the only goal of the contest.

Turkey form (all competitions):

Georgia form (all competitions):

Team News

Turkey lost Enes Unal, Caglar Soyuncu and Ozan Kabak to injuries ahead of the tournament, while Dogan Alemdar, Cenk Ozkacar, Berat Ozdemir, Can Uzun, Abdulkadir Omur and Oguz Aydin were cut from the preliminary squad for the competition.

Uzun's withdrawal was somewhat of a surprise, with the 18-year-old scoring 16 times in the second tier of German football during the 2023-24 campaign, but there was not a spot for him in Montella's attacking options for the tournament.

Kerem Akturkoglu has scored five times in 29 appearances for his national side, and the 25-year-old will be a starter in the final third of the field, while Juventus' Kenan Yildiz is expected to operate in the number 10 position, likely behind Baris Alper Yilmaz.

Merih Demiral is a certain starter in the middle of the defence, with Abdulkerim Bardakci also set to feature at the back, while Hakan Calhanoglu will captain Turkey this summer from a midfield position, bidding to add to the 18 goals that he has managed in his 86 caps thus far.

Arda Guler is also being tipped to start for his country in their Euro 2024 opener, with the Real Madrid attacker impressing at club level during his limited action last term, and it is possible that the 19-year-old could feature from the right for Turkey in this contest.

As for Georgia, Solomon Kvirkvelia is expected to overcome an injury issue to feature in the middle of the defence, but Giorgi Gvelesiani is on standby if the former does not make it.

Otar Kiteishvili is also expected to recover from the problem that forced him off against Montenegro to operate in the middle of midfield for Sagnol's team.

Georges Mikautadze, who plays his club football for Metz, has scored 10 times in 25 appearances for his country, and the 23-year-old is set to be given the nod alongside Kvaratskhelia in the final third of the field, with Budu Zivzivadze being named on the bench.

Jaba Kankava was named in the initial squad but has since been replaced by Gabriel Sigua, and the 18-year-old could make just his second appearance for the national side in this contest, although he is unlikely to be considered for a start against Georgia.

Turkey possible starting lineup:
Gunok; Ayhan, Demiral, Bardakci, Kadioglu; Ozcan, Calhanoglu; Guler, Yildiz, Akturkoglu; Yilmaz

Georgia possible starting lineup:
Mamardashvili; Kverkvelia, Kashia, Dvali; Kakabadze, Kiteishvili, Kochorashvili, Shengelia, Chakvetadze; Kvaratskhelia, Mikautadze

We say: Turkey 2-1 Georgia

Georgia are capable of being stubborn opponents for Turkey, and we are backing the Crusaders to score their first-ever goal at a European Championship. However, Turkey have enough quality to navigate their way to an opening-matchday victory on Tuesday night.

If that is the case, and Portugal then beat Czech Republic, Turkey would be in a solid position in the section ahead of their clash with the section favourites next time out.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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