Russia take on Turkey in a Group B UEFA Nations League encounter this evening and it’s a game that could have serious implications on who tops the group. The hosts currently lead the way with the visitors in second, just one point behind. After a successful World Cup, there is a real feel-good factor around the Russian team, with the fans on board with the way they are playing too.
Yet, it won’t be easy against a Turkey team that is blessed with several quality individuals that have the ability to win a game on their own. That, combined with the importance of the fixture as both sides look to win this group, means we should be in for a very close, competitive game where three points could be vital.
Russia vs Turkey Prediction: Russia 2-1 Turkey
Neither of these sides are particularly strong defensively and they both have attacking talent which means that we are expecting a decent game that should have goals. However, we are backing the hosts to edge the clash. Backed with their home support, along with several in-form players, particularly Artem Dzyuba up top, they are a strong outfit on their own patch. Meanwhile, even though they beat Sweden last time out, Turkey have struggled away from home in recent years and that has to be a concern.
Our recommended tip: BTTS
Despite that, the safer bet for punters would be to back both teams to score. It’s a bet that would’ve landed in four of Russia’s last five games, whilst it would’ve won insix of Russia’s last seven. Furthermore, it came in when the sides met in Turkey earlier in the year, when Russia won 2-1. That highlights the defensive issues that both teams have, yet also proves that they are capable in front of goal. We can see the game following a similar pattern this evening and once the first goal goes in it could develop into a very watchable encounter.
This is a game that Russia have dominated, winning three and drawing two of the previous five fixtures. They will also take confidence from the fact that two of those games have came in this calendar year. As mentioned, they have already won in Turkey in this group, whilst two months before the sides met in a friendly that finished 1-1. So, Turkey will be looking for their first win in this game when they kick-off later.
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Players to watch: Artem Dzyuba & Cengiz Under
The big striker enjoyed a superb World Cup that saw him become a fans favourite across the country and he’s taken that form into the new season with Zenit, where he is the main man as they lead the Russian top-flight. Not only does he score goals, but Dzyuba is also a real threat and great team player because of his physicality and power which allows him to bring others into the game and he will be hoping to bully the Turkish defenders later.
For the visitors, their bright talent is Roma’s Under. He is a ridiculously talented player who could go onto be a star in Italy and potentially play at the very top. With great dribbling ability and a quality left foot, he will be a major problem for the hosts, whilst Turkey will look to get him on the ball as often as possible.