Austria and Turkey go head-to-head in a clash of EURO 2024’s dark horses

Last Updated on July 3, 2024

This part of the Euro 2024 knockout bracket is very interesting and anyone could potentially make it to the final. 

Austria being in this position is quite unexpected, but they absolutely deserve to be here. Austria was not predicted to finish first in Group C, yet they earned their six points fairly. They started with a tough loss to France, due to an unlucky own goal, but bounced back by beating Poland 3-1 and the Netherlands 3-2, securing the top spot. 

This success is down to Ralf Rangnick’s hard work, with Austria having a 60% win rate since he took over. Turkey, on the other hand, has overcome the disappointment of Euro 2020 where they didn’t get any points. This time, hopes were a bit more modest, but they still expected to move past the group stage. 

Turkey secured second place in Group F with wins against Georgia and the Czech Republic, and a defeat to Portugal. Now, Austria will play Turkey in the final round of 16 games at Euro 2024, on Tuesday, July 2nd, at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig. Turkey’s last match was quite rough with many cards shown. Stefan Posch from Austria has committed the most fouls and is at risk of suspension with one booking already.

Ralf Rangnick mixed things up with Austria’s lineup in the group stage, only keeping five players consistent for all three games. These five included goalkeeper Patrick Pentz, and outfield players Marcel Sabitzer, Nicolas Seiwald, Florian Grillitsch, and Stefan Posch. 

Marko Arnautovic took over as the starting striker for the last two matches, replacing Michael Gregoritsch. Patrick Wimmer, who started once, is suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Turkey will likely use the same 4-2-3-1 formation they’ve used throughout the group stage. 

With Hakan Calhanoglu suspended after a yellow card against the Czech Republic, Orkun Kokcu is expected to step in, especially after assisting Cenk Tosun’s winning goal. Kenan Yildiz, Baris Alper Yilmaz, and Arda Guler will continue in attack. 

Defensively, Abdulkerim Bardakci is likely to replace Samet Akaydin, who is also suspended. Austria historically dominated their head-to-heads with Turkey, winning their first six encounters but only three of the next eleven. However, Austria has won two of the last three, including a 6-1 victory in March.

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