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WC Qualification Europe

  • 11 October 2013
  • • 19:30
  • • A. Le Coq Arena, Tallinn
  • Referee: N. Rizzoli
  • • Attendance: 8572

Estonia - Turkey Preview: Race for second is on

Estonia - Turkey Preview: Race for second is on


Fatih Terim's rejuvenated visitors face Netherlands in their last match and know that a win is vital in Tallinn if they are to snatch a World Cup play-off spot in Group D

Turkey will be hopeful of continuing their unbeaten run in World Cup qualifying when they visit Estonia on Friday.

Fatih Terim's men travel to Tallinn having won three of their four Group D matches in 2013. The other game, against Hungary, ended in a draw, meaning that their hopes of reaching next year's tournament in Brazil are still alive.

With 13 points from eight matches, Turkey sit third in the group, just one point behind Hungary and ahead of Romania on goal difference.

The three nations cannot catch Netherlands but are all fighting for second spot and a possible play-off berth. Eight of the nine group runners-up will meet in two-legged ties.

The fact that Turkey are even in with a chance of making the play-offs is credit to their form this year, which has seen them recover in impressive fashion after losing three of their first four qualifiers.

Terim is in charge of Turkey for the third time in his lengthy career in management, having taken over from Abdullah Avci in August. His latest spell began with respective 5-0 and 2-0 qualifying wins over Andorra and Romania and, with Netherlands to face in their final game on October 15, the new coach will be under no illusions of the importance of three points on Friday.

The 60-year-old has selected a strong squad for the match, with captain and Atletico Madrid star Arda Turan set to feature alongside Borussia Dortmund's Nuri Sahin and Galatasaray forward Burak Yilmaz. Burak and Umut Bulut have scored four goals each in the qualifying campaign so far, while Turkey have conceded just seven times in eight qualifying fixtures.

Estonia have registered two wins and one draw from their eight matches but seem destined to finish fifth in the group.

Andorra are still without a point and both of Estonia's victories came against the rock-bottom side. They claimed a terrific 2-2 draw with the Netherlands in their last home fixture, in September but will still enter the match as underdogs.

Tarmo Ruutli's side have scored just six goals in qualifying, with Amkar Perm midfielder Konstantin Vassiljev, who was on target twice against the Dutch, the only player to have netted more than once.

Estonia will be determined to bounce back from a 3-0 defeat in the reverse fixture in Istanbul last September but face a tricky task with so much on the line for Turkey.

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