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Today’s opposition have everything in their hands : Wales v Turkey
Wednesday, 16th Jun 2021 11:31 by Gruff Stephens

In front of a minimum crowd of thirty thousand, many are predicting thousands more, Turkey have a lot to prove against a Wales side who will go for the win this afternoon in Baku.

Azerbaijan and Turkey consider themselves cousins, well, we’ve heard that term before more locally than 3,000 miles away, but the extra support for Turkey today is the first thing that will make them favourites. Secondly, they had the embarrassment in their opinion of being taken apart by Italy on game day one. "For two days following the game we were very fragile, we were very broken. We were really tired and negative," Turkey captain Burak Yilmaz said on Tuesday as he looked forward to having the crowd on his side in Baku. It will be like a host city for us. With the help of the country we want to win this game."

Turkey arrived in Baku with a very impressive run of victories against big sides before falling to Italy. Beating Norway, France, Netherlands to name a few. They score goals and have every confidence in themselves. However, as Yilmaz has said they can easily be knocked off their perch and become very defeatist, very quickly.

Robert Page knows this and we can expect some changes today. "I was pleased with the performance against Switzerland but it doesn't mean it will be the same personnel," he said. "We'll have a look for Wednesday, because they (Turkey) pose a different type of threat and a different way of playing," he added. "We also have the option if we want to change it and go to a three at the back," Page. We can play a Harry type of forward. We have the options and flexibility which is great," added the former Wales captain who is standing in for Ryan Giggs.

Is this a must win for Wales ? Well, only because the next game is in Rome v Italy. Obviously home advantage and the fact that Italy may well already have six points by the time Wales roll in to town could mean a diluted Italian selection. However, who needs that when today it could be sealed for Wales, and four points after two games would most certainly be enough. Make it as scrappy as you like, it doesn’t matter at all, three points is all Wales need.

Photographs licensed from Reuters : Image PA graphics

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