Turkey Euro 2024 Preview | Tactical Analysis & Pick

Turkey Euro 2024 Preview | Tactical Analysis & Pick article feature image

BJ Cunningham/Action Network. Pictured: Hakan Calhanoglu.

After a disastrous run at the previous Euros and failing to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, Turkey look poised for a big tournament with a new crop of young talent.

Turkey started out qualifying on the wrong foot, but after a change in manager they steered the ship in the right direction and ended up winning their group over Croatia and Wales. Vincenzo Montella was in charge for the final three matches that included a 1-0 at Portugal and a draw against Wales to secure first place. With talent littered across this squad, Turkey can without a doubt cause some upsets in this tournament.

Here's my Turkey Euro 2024 preview.

Tactical Analysis

Turkey are a really good in-possession side that is going to give a lot of teams in this tournament problems. Vincenzo Montella is a coach that likes quick, fluid passing in build up to create transition moments with their outstanding ball carriers and playmakers running at the opponent's back line.

One of the ways they’ve been really dangerous is with long balls over the top. They have committed quite a few turnovers in their own half of the pitch, but during qualifying, especially when they played Croatia, they hurt them badly with long passes from goal kick situations or utilizing Hakan Çalhanoğlu as a deep lying playmaker to send a lot of those long passes up to the forwards. In three qualifying matches under Montella, Turkey created 5.01 expected goals and even beat Germany 3-2 in a friendly in November of 2023 as well.

Turkey are a really good defensive team when they are sitting in their 4-4-2 defensive block. They will play very compact and narrow to make it really difficult for teams to play through the middle of the pitch and force them out wide, where they are one of the better teams at defending crosses, allowing the third-fewest accurate crosses in the Euro field.

At the international level, teams often do not have time implement complex in possession tactics and apply them with perfection on the pitch. So, generally the teams that are successful are the ones who win their duals, especially in their own defensive half, and the ones that can defend crosses and set pieces the best.

Turkey have the second-highest overall duel and defensive duel win rate in this Euro field, along with allowing the third-fewest shots per set piece.

Turkey will press high in a man to man fashion when it is necessary, but they are very active in their mid block to press the ball and not allow easy passes. They had a PPDA of 8.3 during qualifying and were pretty good at forcing high turnovers to create transition moments.


data via WyScout


The problems that exist for Turkey defensively are caused by some of their in possession moments. Very rarely did they concede a goal via a cross or from a transition from deep, rather almost all of them came when they turned the ball over high in build up. They are going to play one passive team in Georgia, but the Czech Republic and Portugal are high pressing teams, so there is an element of danger for Turkey.

Because of that, and the fact that if they finish second in this group they are going to most likely have to face France in the round of 16, I cannot get behind any of their futures.

However, there is a player prop that like for Turkey and it's Kerem Aktürkoğlu to be Turkey's leading goalscorer at 11/1.

Aktürkoğlu is a unique attacking player in the fact that he can play a number of different roles, but he’s a big focal point of the Turkish attack as one of their main attacking midfielders. During qualifying, he was the only guy to play in all eight matches and averaged 2.6 shots per 90 minutes. In addition, he also led the team in shots on target.

Turkey don't really have an established striker playing up top, so the goal scoring and shots are spread out throughout the team. Where Aktürkoğlu thrives is in the half spaces and mainly in transition.

He’s coming off an outstanding season at Galatasaray where he scored 12 goals in the Turkish Super Lig and two in the Champions League from the midfield.

They are likely going to play very direct in both matches against the Czech Republic and Portugal, which will give him ample opportunities to crash the box and get on the end of through balls or crosses.

So, I think there is a lot of value on Aktürkoğlu at 11/1 with Turkey not having an established striker.

Pick: Kerem Aktürkoğlu to be Turkey's top goalscorer (+1100 via bet365)

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