Turkey suffered a pretty demoralizing defeat last time they assembled back in September on the road against the Netherlands, being completely overrun with a 6:1 result.
A positive outcome is surely needed to boost their morale, and furthermore, they are still in a good position to grab the play-off place, as they are currently at the 3rd spot, having only two points less compared to their opponents in the upcoming clash.
The Turks miss out goalkeeper Guno (22/0, Besiktas), defender Meras (15/0, Besiktas), midfielders Yokuslu (39/1, Celta), Karaca (8/1, Alanyaspor), Kahveci (21/1, Fenerbahce), Tokoz (10/1 Trabzonspor) and forwards Karaman (28/6, Besiktas) and Unal (24/2, Getafe) compared to previous matches.
Norway is looking good lately, as they continued the qualification campaign in a good manner, being unbeaten in their previous three fixtures while looking quite confident in their last one at home against Gibraltar when they crushed them with a 5:1 result, but that was pretty much expected.
They are currently sitting at the 2nd spot in Group G, having the same amount of points compared to the leading Netherlands, so they shouldn’t appear passive either as the Turks do show certain vulnerability at the back, even though the guests miss their main star player.
The guests will be without defenders Ajer (25/0, Brentford), Svensson (23/1, Adana), midfielders Midtsjo (11/0, AZ Alkmaar), Normann (9/1, Norwich), Berge (24/1, Sheffield Utd) and forwards King (56/17, Watford), Haaland (15/12, Dortmund) and Sorloth (34/12, Sociedad) compared to previous call-ups.
All-around race for another victory
Potency was never a problem for the Turks in this campaign, but they have visible problems in the back, as they concede to frequently, and I definitely see Norwegians exploiting this handicap.
The atmosphere in Istanbul is boiling, and I am pretty sure that a wide-open clash is highly likely, in which just a slight push is needed to make it as interesting as it can possibly be. The hosts, on the other side, shouldn’t be able keep the clean sheet even with Halland missing this time.