Euro 2024

Turkey v Portugal: Back the Selecao to edge entertaining encounter

Roberto Martinez - Portugal
Portugal left it late to beat Czech Republic in their opener

Football tipster Mark O'Haire previews Portugal's meeting with Turkey in Group F on Saturday evening, backing the Selecao to secure top honours in Dortmund...

Turkey v Portugal
Saturday June 22, 17:00
Live on ITV

Turkish delights light up Euro 2024

Turkey scored two goal of the tournament contenders as they kicked-off their Euro 2024 campaign with an entertaining 3-1 victory over Georgia. Vincenzo Montella's men made a strong start in Dortmund, as Kaan Ayhan struck the woodwork before Mert Muldur hit a stunning first-time volley into the top right corner to break the deadlock after 25 minutes.

Kenan Yildiz was denied a second soon after following a VAR review and Georgia enjoyed the reprieve as the started to find their feet, with the debutants levelling just after the half-hour mark. However, momentum swung back Turkey's way after the break with Arda Guler scoring a beautiful, curled effort from distance to set-up a frantic finale.

Georgia twice hit the woodwork as they pressed. But the final stages, goalkeeper Mert Gunok punched a corner clear and, with his opposite number Giorgi Mamardashvili having come forward for a set-piece, Kerem Akturkoglu was able to race clear towards an open goal and slotted home to seal the success for Turkey.

Speaking post-match, Montella suggested his side are dreaming big this summer. He said, "It was a match worthy of the finals. We've never got beyond the group stage in the last three Euros; we didn't even pick up a point last time. Our first target was to win this match. Now we've won it, the dream is to win the next one and reach the knockout stage."

Match Preview

Türkiye - Portugal
  1. L
  2. W
  3. W
  4. L
  5. W
  6. D
  1. L
  2. W
  3. L
  4. W
  5. W
  6. W
Full Stats Powered by Opta

Portugal pinch the points late on

Portugal left it late in Leipzig, but Francisco Conceicao's 92nd-minute goal ensured a winning start for the Selecao as Roberto Martinez's men came from behind to beat Czech Republic 2-1 in their opener. The Porto youngster was making his first competitive international appearance and came off the bench to net, sparking scenes of pandemonium.

Lukas Provod's stunning second-half strike had given Czechia a shock lead after Portugal failed to take numerous chances, many of which fell to a wasteful Cristiano Ronaldo. Yet the Selecao levelled shortly after falling in fortuitous circumstances as Czech goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek and defender Robin Hranac combined to deflect the ball into their own net.

Portugal smelt bloody and continue to press for a potential winner; Diogo Jota had an 87th minute header ruled out for offside following a VAR check. But with only two minutes of stoppage time remaining, Pedro Neto and Conceicao combined to clinch a narrow win, ensuring the 2016 champions collected maximum points from their curtain-raising clash.

Martinez praised his team's character post-match, saying: "Today it's not about assessing this game from the technical or tactical point of view. Today we won because we showed resilience, willpower and belief. We showed incredible personality. If we scored early, we could have won by three or four goals, but we kept believing and were rewarded late on."

Selecao can edge entertaining encounter

Portugal are understandable strong 1.618/13 favourites to take top honours here. The Selecao have won all 11 of their competitive matches under Roberto Martinez's watch and have now posted W14-D1-L2 across UEFA dates across the last two years with Spain the last side to beat the Iberian outfit in a meaningful match, way back in September 2022.

Portugal displayed their tactical flexibility and versatility against Czech Republic and have largely flourished in a more proactive and attack-minded style, generating a minimum of 1.85 Expected Goals (xG) in nine of the aforementioned 11 triumphs under Martinez and firing in an average of 13.18 shots from inside the opposition penalty area.

Turkey 6.205/1 have posted a respectable W9-D4-L2 across their last 15 competitive UEFA encounters, although the Crescent Stars were housed in a generous Nations League pool. Nevertheless, the group have claimed a historic success away at Croatia en-route to Euro 2024, a match that saw Turkey generate five Big Chances and an xG value of 2.65.

Vincenzo Montella's squad possess plenty of forward-thinking threats with teenage starlets Arda Guler and Kenan Yildiz particularly impressing across the last 12 months. With that in-mind, I'm happy to have a swing at the Portugal to win and Both Teams To Score price at 3.45. Turkey have fired a solitary blank in their last 15 meaningful matches.

Bruno to make his mark

Bruno Fernandes created two chances and had two efforts at goal against Czech Republic, operating in a central midfield position in Portugal's surprise 3-4-3 formation. Roberto Martinez may shake that system up ahead of Saturday's showdown, giving the Manchester United man more license to attack and the 1/12.00 on Fernandes to Score or Assist appeals.

The 29-year-old now has excelled in Portuguese colours and been hugely influential since Martinez took charge, netting six times and creating eight goals during qualification. And despite Man Utd enduring a dreadful campaign, Bruno finished the Premier League season with the most chances created, taking that honour for the second successive campaign.

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