12 October 2019
Turkey continue their UEFA 2020 European Championship qualifying (ECQ) campaign at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium in Istanbul to unpredictable Albania.
The hosts’ outstanding qualifying campaign has seen them win all but one of their six qualifiers so far, with a 2-1 away loss to Iceland being the only exception. It was also the only match in the ongoing qualifying that Turkey allowed their rivals to score, with each of their five ECQ wins seeing them beat their rivals to nil. What’s more, four of those victories have seen the Crescent-Stars lead at the halftime break and win the match by a margin of multiple goals. A potential success here that would set them up well for the upcoming clash with France is strongly backed by Turkey’s solid run of form in front of the home supporters. Şenol Güneş’s men have racked up a five-game winning home streak ahead of this match, friendlies included – conceding just one goal in total while scoring 2+ goals per home fixture four times in the process.
Meanwhile, the visitors face a big uphill task to finish among top-two nations in Group H, as they have a six-point gap to reduce on Turkey and France. The Albanians have endured mixed fortunes in their qualifying campaign thus far (W3, L3), with two of those defeats arriving away from home. Breaking the deadlock could prove vital for ‘Shqiponjat’ who lost each of their last 13 competitive games in which they allowed their opponents to draw first blood. However, Edoardo Reja’s men have struggled to impress when away from home lately, suffering five defeats in their last six trips in all competitions (W1), four of which have seen them draw a blank. Additionally, Albania lost all three of their previous competitive visits to Turkey, conceding five goals while scoring only once in the process.
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