Preview: Czech Republic v Turkey
- Turkey must win to have any hope of advancing; a draw could be enough for Czech Republic
- The teams both claimed away victories when they met in qualifying, 2-1 in Istanbul and 2-0 in Prague
- Turkey fought back from two down to beat the Czechs 3-2 at UEFA EURO 2008
- Michal Kadlec, Tomáš Necid, Tomáš Sivok and David Pavelka all play in Turkey
- Czech skipper Tomáš Rosický has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament
Czech Republic: Čech; Kadeřábek, Sivok, Hubník, Gebre Selassie; Darida, Pavelka; Skalák, Dočkal, Krejčí; Necid.
Out: Rosický (thigh)
Misses next match if booked: Limberský, Sivok
Turkey: Volkan Babacan; Şener Özbayraklı, Semih Kaya, Hakan Balta, İsmail Köybaşı; Mehmet Topal, Selçuk İnan; Volkan Şen, Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Emre Mor; Cenk Tosun.
Doubtful: Nuri Şahin (knee)
Misses next match if booked: Burak Yılmaz, Cenk Tosun, Hakan Balta, Ozan Tufan, Volkan Şen
Pavel Vrba, Czech Republic
In theory we might only need a point, even though it is really just in theory. More likely we need to win so we will push more players forward and play more offensively. We will make an effort to control the match.
Most of our players already have big matches under their belts, mostly with their clubs but also in the European Qualifiers, so from that point of view I have no concerns about our players not being ready or aware of how much is at stake. They will be on top of it.
I will watch the match where Turkey beat us in Prague to qualify for the EURO. That was a great match from their point of view. I think this will be different because both teams need to get three points. We won in Turkey, they won in Prague; we will see who wins in France.
Fatih Terim, Turkey
I have always said this is the “group of death” and what matters most is getting out of it. We have had a dip in form compared to the 16–17 games leading up to here. I hope we make up for it, but it is obvious that we have problems.
This will be an interesting game: both teams need a victory. It will be like a chess match. The Czech Republic are a resilient team. They came from 2-0 down to draw with Croatia and they could have held Spain too. You have to be wary of them.
Our motto is, “It’s not over until we say it’s over.” Now it’s time to deliver. Sometimes things do not go your way in football, but hopefully we can get out of this crisis and start talking about different things.
UEFA.com team reporters
Ondřej Zlámal, Czech Republic (@UEFAcomOndrejZ)
It is a must-win game for the Czechs but they are without injured playmaker and captain Tomáš Rosický. They need to reshuffle and remember how it is to play without him. Bořek Dočkal is widely expected to be given a chance to take on Rosický’s responsibilities. Tomáš Necid, who plays his club football in Turkey, might be given a start too. One way or another, the Czechs have to prove they deserve to qualify.
Çetin Cem Yılmaz, Turkey (@UEFAcomCetinCY)
It’s permutations time for Turkey. Despite two below-par performances against two very decent sides, Turkey still have a shot of making it through to the next round. According to the media (but, notably, there’s been little from the camp), Terim is set to shake things up with his starting XI as some of his more established names have not lived up to expectations so far.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Czech Republic: DLLWWDLLWW
Did you know?
The only Turkish side to have previously played a UEFA fixture in Lens are Gaziantepspor, who ousted the hosts 3-1 at what was then the Stade Félix-Bollaert in a November 2003 UEFA Cup game. Find out more in our extensive match background.