Turkey v Republic of Ireland Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
March 19, 2018
Antalya Stadium - International Friendly
Martin O’Neill takes his Republic of Ireland team to the warmer climes of Antalya to play Turkey in a friendly scheduled for Friday evening. Neither of these teams will be at the World Cup in the summer, but there’s a chance to start building some momentum ahead of the qualifying campaign for Euro 2020.
The teams last played each other in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium in May 2014, with Turkey winning 2-1 on that occasion. Richard Dunne scored an injury time leveller in the meeting before that, which was back in 2003, while the last competitive meeting was a goalless draw in 1999.
The big news for Ireland is that captain Seamus Coleman returns to the squad after almost a year out of the fold thanks to his broken leg. Kieran O’Hara, Declan Rice, Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams and Enda Stevens all get their first call-ups, while veterans John O'Shea and Glenn Whelan are omitted.
Everton striker Cenk Tosun will be a major threat to the returning Coleman and the rest of the Irish backline. He has eight goals in 25 international appearances to date, and looks like he’s finding his feet in the Premier League after netting a brace for the Toffees against Stoke at the weekend.
Turkey v Republic of Ireland Preview and Predictions
There’s a noticeable lack of experience in the Republic of Ireland squad named by O’Neill, although there’s little doubt that the Irish boss is looking to the future when it comes to this friendly.
Southampton forward Shane Long is the only outfield player in the visitors’ squad aged over 30, and apart from him, James McClean is the only other man with more than 50 caps. Turkey have plenty of experience in the form of Gokhan Gonul, Mehmet Topal and Selcuk Inan, but they also have five uncapped players in the squad.
Despite losing 3-2 at home against Albania in November, Turkey will start this game as favourites in the betting. You can back Mircea Lucescu’s team at 5/4, while Ireland are available as long as 3/1. This could in part be explained by their last outing, a 5-1 humbling at the hands of Denmark in their final World Cup qualifier.
With no more fixtures on the cards before a trip to France at the end of May, this is an important game for Ireland. Considering that defeat last time out, a draw wouldn’t be the worst result for the Boys in Green, and that’s priced at 9/4 in the betting.
Both teams to score at 23/18
After a combined 11 goals in their last fixtures, this game’s unlikely to be short of action.
Over 3.5 goals at 22/5
This bet will come into play if you predict a goal fest, with over 4.5 goals priced at 12/1.