Preview: Turkey vs. Armenia

Preview: Turkey vs. Armenia

Turkey will renew hostilities with neighbours Armenia when the two nations lock horns in Euro 2024 qualifying on Friday evening.

The Cresent-Stars claimed a 2-1 victory over Havakakan in the reverse fixture back in March, although Group D remains wide open.

Following a 10th-minute own goal from Ozan Kabak, Turkey came from behind to defeat Armenia in their previous meeting, courtesy of strikes from Orkun Kokcu and Kerem Akturkoglu.

Stefan Kuntz’s side lost their second qualifier, suffering a 2-0 defeat against Croatia, but they made amends for the loss during the last international break, securing back-to-back victories over Latvia and Wales to take control of Group D.

After snatching a last-gasp 3-2 win against Latvia – thanks to Irfan Kahveci’s 95th-minute winner – Turkey enjoyed a dominant 2-0 victory over Wales last time out, racking up 77% possession and 14 shots, with teenage prodigy Arda Guler coming off the bench to score the clinching goal.

Consequently, the Cresent-Stars find themselves at the summit of Group D – three points clear of second-placed Armenia – having won three of their four qualifiers so far.

When you look at the bigger picture, Turkey have lost just two of their last 12 matches across all competitions, picking up nine wins along the way, so Kuntz’s men will back themselves to do the double over Armenia.

It is worth pointing out that Armenia have a game in hand on Turkey, meaning that Friday’s clash provides the visitors with an added incentive to win, as Oleksandr Petrakov’s side will move level on points with the Cresent-Stars if they taste victory in Eskisehir.

Despite losing to Turkey in the opening round, Armenia enter the reverse fixture on a three-game unbeaten streak, with a 2-2 friendly draw against Cyprus preceding a couple of crucial victories in Group D.

Lucas Zelarayan and Grant-Leon Ranos both scored twice as Havakakan came from behind to beat Wales 4-2 in Cardiff, with Daniel James and Harry Wilson scoring for the hosts before Kieffer Moore’s second-half red card.

In their previous match, Armenia registered 67% possession and 21 shots while preventing Latvia from recording a single attempt on target, but Petrakov’s men had to wait until the 91st minute to claim all three points as Tigran Barseghyan’s late strike made it 2-1.

Although Armenia endured a nine-game winless run between June 2022 and March 2023 – recording two draws and seven losses during that period – Havakakan will now be confident of extending their winning streak to three matches.

Turkey Euro Champ Qualifying form:

Turkey form (all competitions):

Armenia Euro Champ Qualifying form:

Armenia form (all competitions):

We say: Turkey 2-1 Armenia
Having won three of their four qualifiers up to now, we expect Turkey to pick up another victory on Friday, although Armenia will likely give the Cresent-Stars a run for their money.

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