UEFA Nations League: Russia vs Turkey preview


Russia and Turkey will battle for promotion to the top tier of the UEFA Nations League when they meet at Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi on Sunday. The two teams have already met in this competition in September and back then Russia managed to clinch a 2-1 victory in Trabzon with goals from Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba while Serdar Aziz scored for the home side. That was the first ever victory for Russia against Turkey as the only two previous meetings between these sides ended in draws. Russia are currently leading the group table with 4 points, Turkey are in second place with 3 points and Sweden are third and last with just one point.

Russia are still undefeated in the UEFA Nations League after two matches, but they still have to collect another victory in order to secure their place at the top of the table. Earlier this week they grabbed a goalless draw in Sweden, which means that if they beat Turkey once again they will be certain of finishing at the top of the group. If they win the group they will get promoted to the top tier of the competition. Head coach Stanislav Cherchesov will most likely keep changes to a minimum as he doesn't have any injury concerns, the defence will certainly be the same after having secured the clean sheet against Sweden.

Turkey still have a chance to finish at the top of the group table, they lost against Russia in the opening match but then grabbed a spectacular 3-2 victory in Sweden three days later. In that match the Turks produced an amazing fightback, they were 2-0 down at half-time but somehow they prevailed after scoring the last two goals in the 88th and 92nd minute. This week they tried a warm-up friendly match at home against Bosnia & Herzegovina but it didn't give them much confidence as it ended goalless. Head coach Mircea Lucescu will most likely field a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Everton striker Cenk Tosun up front.

Probable line-ups:

Russia: Guilherme - Fernandes, Neustadter, Dzikhiya, Rausch - Zobnin, Gazinskiy, Kuzyaev - Cheryshev, Golovin - Dzyuba

Turkey: Bolat - Ozbayrakli, Aziz, Soyuncu, Bayram - Yokuslu, Tekdemir - Under, Ozyakup, Calhanoglu - Tosun

My prediction: 1-1 draw, these two teams seem evenly matched.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Russia win - 2.05
Draw - 3.25
Turkey win - 3.75

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