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Turkey amputee team's Euro glory


ESPN FC's Euro 2016 awards

Euro 2016

Euro 2016 team preview: Turkey are unfancied but capable of surprise

Group D: Spain | Czech Republic | Turkey | Croatia

The 2008 semifinalists return to the tournament after missing out last time around, but expectations are not especially high for a deep run. If they can get through the group, though, Turkey have the talent to trouble anyone on a given day.

How they qualified: Third in Group A

Turkey qualified automatically in dramatic fashion as the best third-placed team, with a last-minute Selcuk Inan winner against Iceland sparking pandemonium. Prior to that, it had been a mixed campaign, with a 3-0 win over the Netherlands offset by a similar defeat to Iceland.

How they'll proceed:

Players such as Inan, Arda Turan and Hakan Calhanoglu could turn on the style against anybody, but Turkey might have to rely on another high third-placed finish at best. From there, the options for progression beyond the Round of 16 are not promising.

TBD by Editor
This will be just the fourth time Turkey have played in the European Championship.

Predicted lineup:

(4-2-3-1); GK: Volkan Babacan; DF: Sener Ozbayrakli, Hakan Balta, Serdar Aziz, Caner Erkin; MF: Selcuk Inan, Ozan Tufan, Hakan Calhanoglu, Oguzhan Ozyakup, Arda Turan; FW: Burak Yilmaz.

Key player: Arda Turan

Will the attacking midfielder's enforced five-month break after joining Barcelona mean he is fresher than many of the overworked stars in France? Turkey certainly hope so because Turan has gotten even better since starring at Euro 2008, where he scored two goals.

Manager: Fatih Terim

Now in his third spell in charge of the national team, the second of which brought that strong performance eight years ago, Terim has been back in the hot seat since August 2013. "The Emperor" can be a divisive figure, but his experience could be crucial in France.


June 12 vs. Croatia (9 a.m. ET/1 p.m. GMT; Parc des Princes, Paris)

June 17 vs. Spain (3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. GMT; Stade de Nice, Nice)

June 21 vs. Czech Republic (3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. GMT; Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens)
-- LIVE on ESPN2

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