It’s crunch time for Turkey and Sweden with each nation facing relegation to League C if they lose this encounter. However with a game in hand, the Scandinavians can still clinch promotion if they claim all three points in Istanbul, and then beat Russia in their final UEFA Nations League (UNL) group match.
Turkey can mostly blame a porous defence for the looming threat of relegation after losing two of three games so far, and conceding exactly two goals in all three fixtures (W1, L2). In fact the hosts have now conceded in every half of UNL football they’ve played, and to make matters worse, have registered just two clean sheets in their last ten matches overall (W3, D4, L3).
Sweden are without a win in four matches since their World Cup exit to England (D2, L2), and sit bottom of League B, Group 2, with just a single point (D1, L1), but have played one less game.
The visitors have now failed to score in three of their last five fixtures, and perhaps unsurprisingly then, have seen only three of their last ten outings end with over 2.5 match goals scored.
However in six competitive H2H encounters since 1994/95, four have ended with over 2.5 match goals and five with both teams scoring, including Turkey’s 3-2 reverse fixture victory in September.
Players to watch: AC Milan midfielder Hakan Çalhanoğlu scored Turkey’s first in the reverse fixture. Sweden’s Viktor Claesson also scored in that game, and netted for club side Krasnodar last week.
Stat attack: Turkey have been shown an average of 1.80 yellow cards per match over their last five competitive fixtures.
In the last five H2Hs (including friendlies), three have ended with a scoreline of 2-1.
In 2018, both teams scored in only one of Sweden’s six competitive games on foreign soil.
Referee: Kovacs I. (Rou),
Venue: Yeni Eskişehir Stadyumu (Eskişehir)