This is a huge game in Group I of the World Cup Qualifying, with both teams involved in a tight group where any one of four teams can top the group. That will leave one team making the playoffs and two teams being disappointed that they have not qualified for Russia, despite playing well in parts.
The four teams involved are these two, who are tied on 11 points right now, and Croatia and Iceland, who are tied at the top on 13 points right now. With four games to go things are beginning to hot up and the top two places are being fiercely contested. Whoever loses this game is going to find it tough to recover, and with so much at stake we should be in for a great game.
Ukraine are currently 4th in Group I, with three wins, two draws and one loss so far from their six games. They are level with Turkey in third, and two points behind the top two clubs Croatia and Iceland.
In their last game Ukraine kept their qualification hopes alive with a good 2-1 victory away in Finland. That came on the back of a defeat in Croatia and was much needed for them, but even more is needed if they are to make it to Russia.
After this game Ukraine have to travel to Iceland and Kosovo, as well as playing a home game against Croatia on the final day. That run in is very tough for them, but it does mean they hold their own destiny right now and a win over Turkey in this game, followed up by a win in Iceland next week would give them a real chance of winning this group.
Turkey are currently 3rd in Group I, they have three wins, two draws and one loss but their slightly better goal difference is what is keeping them ahead of Ukraine. They are just two points behind the top two and will fancy their chances of catching them if they can pull off a good result on their visit to the Ukraine.
In their last game, they had a comfortable victory over bottom of the table Kosovo, beating them 4-1 away from home. They won their two games before that too, over Finland and Kosovo again so they have built up some momentum and despite facing lower opposition they will still be pleased with that.
After this game, Turkey face a huge game at home to table leaders Croatia next week. That game is going to be huge, especially if they manage to get a result from their trip to Ukraine. It doesn’t get much easier after that, they face second placed Iceland at home in the game after, before ending their campaign with an away game against Finland.
Andriy Yarmolenko will come to this game on the back of a big money move to Borussia Dortmund and he is sure to be up for this game to show his new club what they can expect. He scores a lot of goals and is going to be a threat that Turkey have to deal with.
Cenk Tosun is speculated to be moving in the transfer window, with many clubs interested in him. He is the hope for Turkey and is a very strong, powerful forward who currently plays for Besiktas. If he doesn’t move this summer, he will still be a target for the winter transfer window and I expect we will hear a lot more of his name over the coming months.
Top Betting Tips
This game is sure to be very close and it is difficult to split these two teams.
I am going to side with Ukraine, mainly due to the home advantage they have in this game and I am going to back them to win the game at 13/10 with Bet365 and William Hill.(www.perfectbettingonline.co.uk)
This offers good value and they will be desperate to win the game, before giving it their all as they try and qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia.
The game is going to be close but with home advantage and a potential game winner in Andriy Yarmolenko then Ukraine have the advantage and it is one that I think will give them the three points in this game. Should Ukraine win the game like I hope then their trip to Iceland next week is going to be a huge game that will be worth watching.