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It is now or never for a talented Turkish generation
It is now or never for a talented Turkish generation

Group A: Switzerland vs Turkey, kick-off 5pm (UK time, ITV)

They might only have a point between them but thanks to the quirks of Euro 2020, both Switzerland and Turkey could still advance from Group A to reach the knockout phase. 

Only eight teams exit the tournament after the group stage, with the four best third-placed sides all progressing to the round of 16. 

Italy are already assured of their place in the next round and Wales look almost certain to join them. 

Whoever wins this clash could finish as high as second — but even third might be good enough.

Story so far

Switzerland got the better of Wales in their Group A opener but were forced to settle for a frustrating 1-1 draw in Baku.

They followed that up with a 3-0 defeat to Italy on matchday two with the Italians proving far too good for Vladimir Petkovic's side.

A brace from Manuel Locatelli, followed by a third late on by Ciro Immobile, confirmed Italy's superiority in Rome. 

Turkey, meanwhile, have failed to live up to pre-tournament expectations and have yet to pick up a point. 

Handsomely beaten 3-0 in Rome on the opening night by Italy, a Gareth Bale-inspired Wales saw Senol Gunes' side off 2-0 in Baku.

Underperformer

Cengiz Under failed to sparkle on loan at Leicester from Roma
Cengiz Under failed to sparkle on loan at Leicester from Roma

Yet to even open their account at Euro 2020, Turkey are going to have to net in this clash if they are to have any hope of progressing.

Veteran captain Burak Yilmaz has had more shots than anyone else in the squad (six) but close behind the 35-year-old is Cengiz Under on five.

The winger, 23, spent last season on loan at Leicester from Roma but failed to make much of an impact, starting just once in the Premier League without scoring. 

Under was highly rated at Roma earlier in his career but fell down the pecking order before joining the Foxes — with an option to buy included in the deal.

Fourth in the Turkish squad for carries in excess of five metres, Under has completed five of the seven dribbles he has attempted, often cutting in from the right. 

If Turkey are finally to come good and live up to their promise, he will have to fire. 

Embolo overdue

Breel Embolo has not managed to hit double figures since leaving FC Basel in 2016
Breel Embolo has not managed to hit double figures since leaving FC Basel in 2016

Only three players have had a shot on target for Switzerland at Euro 2020 and Breel Emobolo is the only forward to manage one.

The Borussia Monchengladbach attacker has had three attempts on goal, scoring a header against Wales on matchday one after getting the better of Connor Roberts.

Strong and quick, it is easy to forget Embolo is only 24, such has been the hype around the forward since he burst onto the scene at FC Basel.

But Embolo has not hit double figures in the league since leaving his homeland in 2016 and notched only five times in the Bundesliga last term against an expected goals total of seven.

Despite their lack of goals, Switzerland have had 25 shots so far. Embolo cannot be expected to do it alone, though, and better shot selection from the Swiss will be essential.

Own worst enemies

If Turkey are to pull off a surprise and sneak into the last 16, they will have to stop being so careless.

No other team has conceded more fouls (28) than Gunes' side so far at Euro 2020 but they are also every bit as sloppy in possession.

Turkey have lost the ball from passes 83 times in two matchdays — a remarkably profligate record.

Midfield playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu is the worst offender with 12 ball losses. 

But full-back Mehmet Zeki Celik and keeper Urgurcan Cakir are also repeat offenders and have invited undue pressure onto their team-mates. That has to change — and fast.

Stunted Swiss

Xherdan Shaqiri's pass network map shows Turkey's wing-backs receive the ball from him more often than anyone else
Xherdan Shaqiri's pass network map shows Turkey's wing-backs receive the ball from him more often than anyone else

A lot of Switzerland's problems also stem from their build-up play.

Petkovic's side are among the most prolific crossers at Euro 2020 but have very little to show for their approach.

With 28 crosses attempted so far, only three nations deliver the ball into the box with greater regularity. Yet Switzerland are not mustering enough attempts on goal to justify this approach.

Similarly, they rank fifth for passes overall (1,030) and for completed passes (890) but their possession is rarely in dangerous areas of the field and lacks progression.

Both of those factors help explain Embolo's struggle to get efforts on target. With Xherdan Shaqiri in the side to act as a link between midfield and attack, this should not be an issue.

But the Liverpool attacker's passes and movements made map (above) shows the most frequent recipients of his passes are actually defensive players. 

Neither of these sides deserves to advance based on their showings so far — but it is not too late for one of them to rewrite the script.

Tags

SwitzerlandTurkeyEuropean Championship

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