The fate of the teams in Group D will be decided today. The Czech Republic now have fresh optimism after their late show against Croatia. The Czechs had their Euro 2016 dream in tatters before a monumental two-goal comeback against the Croatians in St Etienne last Friday. The Czechs managed to take full advantage of the disruptions caused by Croatian fans as they deplorably threw flares onto the pitch, endangering both players and officials. The Czechs now know that a win and victory for Spain against Croatia will see them advance to the last-16, as long as there is a two more goal swing. A feat that looked unlikely after the opening day defeat to Spain.

Turkey meanwhile still hold lingering aspirations of claiming a third place spot and potential qualification, however, with them currently sitting on zero points and a poor goal difference of -4, the chances of seeing Turkey in the last-16 are very slim. They need to go in search of a crushing victory and hope for the best. Whatever happens, the Turkish will be motivated even if this is the end to go out on a high note and victory over the Czech Republic would certainly be just that.

The Czech’s chances of progression were dealt a potentially fatal blow when captain Tomas Rosicky’s  tournament was ended with a thigh injury sustained in the match against Croatia. The former Arsenal midfielder has a history of continuous injury problems during his time in English football, he had managed just one hour of  first-team football fast of this season. There are no other concerns for the Czechs for this crucial clash, however, Rosicky is the creative hub of the Czech  team and therefore will be sorely missed in the midfield.

Predicted Line-Ups

Czech Republic: Čech, Kadeřábek, Sivok, Hubník, Gebre Selassie, Darida, Pavelka, Skalák, Dočkal, Krejčí

Turkey: Volkan Babacan, Şener Özbayraklı, Semih Kaya, Hakan Balta, İsmail Köybaşı, Mehmet Topal, Selçuk İnan, Volkan Şen, Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Emre Mor, Cenk  Tosun

Turkey have just the one injury concern heading into the match, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Nuri Şahin is a doubt with a knee injury. Star Man Arda Turan will be really looking forward to this one as it is a chance to redeem himself as large sections of the Turkish support were booing him in the last match. Due to Turkey’s physical approach to the game, they do have a number of players  just one yellow card away from suspension should they make the last 16 most notably Burak Yilmaz.

In conclusion, although the Czechs did not look a formidable force against either the Croatians or the Spanish I do feel they would have enough quality and fight to see off Turkey. This is due to the fact Turkey themselves looked lacklustre given a thorough hammering by Spain as well as a poor showing against Croatia.

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