Can Turkey qualify for the knockout stages?

In October, Selcuk Inan’s late free-kick against Iceland secured Turkey’s place at this summer’s European Championship.

Fatih Terim’s men were on the verge of elimination but Inan’s last-minute strike ensured Turkey advanced as the best third-placed side in the qualification stage.

And if truth be told, Lady Luck was smiling down on Turkey again as they were drawn with Spain, Croatia and the Czech Republic. It won’t be easy but Turkey, priced at 5/6 in Coral’s Euro 2016 betting markets, could qualify for the knockout stages if they perform at their best. After all, this is the European Championship and there could be plenty of shocks throughout the competition.

Captain Arda Turan will try to inspire his troops as they look to defy the odds and go toe-to-toe with some of the best teams in Europe. The Barcelona midfielder hasn’t been a regular for his club side this season and that should mean he is fresh for Turkey’s Euro 2016 bid this summer. Turkey have a number of impressive prospects and, if nothing else, they should give a decent account of themselves.

On paper, Turkey will struggle to compete with Spain and Croatia this summer but they will stand a great chance of advancing if they can pick up a positive result against Ante Cacic’s side in the opener. Turkish supporters won’t be filled with confidence ahead of the competition but who knows, one victory in the group stages might be enough to see Turkey advance to the knockout round as one of the best third-placed nations.

Whilst Terim’s side open their campaign against Croatia, Turkey’s clash with Spain could be the most important fixture in the group stages. Vicente del Bosque’s men crashed out of the 2014 World Cup at the first hurdle but Spain have improved since.

Punters should read this if you’re interested on betting on the match and Turkey, who are 21/10 to beat Croatia in Coral’s Euro 2016 betting markets, could already have a victory under their belt before facing the three-time winners.

Turkey have never been a superpower in world football but they have always been solid defensively and Terim’s men will make themselves difficult to beat. In a way, Turkey have nothing to lose and they will be playing with freedom. All of the pressure is on Spain and Croatia – and Turkey will relish their role as underdogs. Winning the competition may be a tad far-fetched but they can certainly hold their own on the international stage.

If there’s one piece of advice Fatih Terim will be giving his players before the tournament, it’s this: enjoy yourselves. Turkey have nothing to lose and for that reason, they are incredibly dangerous. It would be foolish to rule them out and, with a bit of luck, they could take inspiration from Leicester City’s phenomenal Premier League title triumph and reach the latter stages of the European Championship this summer.