The second round of Euro 2020 Group games seems to have come around unbelievably quickly, with Wales and Turkey facing off at the Olympic Stadium in Baku.
Both of these sides will be looking to make serious amends for their Matchday One performances, which left a whole lot to be desired.
Turkey looked flat from the get go and faded quickly in their 3-0 loss to Italy in Rome, so a 3000-mile trip back to their base in Azerbaijan was probably the last thing they needed.
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Wales, similarly, got their tactics all wrong against Switzerland on Saturday afternoon. They really struggled to get Gareth Bale into the game – hoping to absorb the Swiss pressure and counter with pace, they were often sloppy in transition and gave the ball away cheaply.
Unlike their opponents, though, they picked up a point that could prove crucial for qualification, and means a win in the Baku heat should be enough to seal the deal.
The Man in the Middle
Taking control of this one will be Portuguese referee Artur Soares Dias, a man who isn’t exactly shy with his cards. In the Liga NOS last season, he dished out 95 yellows in 19 appearances (5 per game) with an average of 28.53 fouls per game.
In the 12 games he’s officiated since the beginning of April, in all competitions, he’s averaged 6.17 yellows and 0.42 reds per game – which equates to 77 booking points per game.
Given what we’ve seen at the tournament so far, with ten of the 12 ‘matchday one’ games seeing less than four cards, it’s tough to choose between tournament trend and referee history.
With so much on the line for both nations, it’s hard to imagine this being a quiet affair. Three points here could be the difference between qualification and elimination, especially for Wales who still have to face Italy on the final match day.
All things considered, the evens on offer for Turkey Over 0 Cards, Wales Over 0 Cards and Turkey Over 0 Goals at bet365 looks enticing.
Wales were disjointed defensively against Switzerland and were lucky to only concede one, while it’s worth remembering that this Turkey side scored 10 goals in their three recent World Cup Qualifiers.
Elsewhere, I also like the look of Kieffer Moore 1+
Headed Shot on Target at 15/8 with Paddypower. The Cardiff City striker had a couple of efforts with his head against the Swiss, including the equaliser, while Turkey looked vulnerable in the air against Italy and conceded headed shots to both Chiellini and Immobile.