Turkey vs Portugal: Preview and Prediction

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Arda Guler bagged a wonder strike in Turkey’s opener

Turkey takes on Portugal in Matchday 2 of the UEFA Euro 2024 on Saturday from 9:30 PM IST. The Group F table toppers take on each other at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund and are one win away from securing their place in the knockouts.

Turkey came into the game having lived up to their billing of “Dark Horses’ of the competition against Georgia. Manager Vincenzo Montella would be exceptionally proud of his boys who endured a torrid time at UEFA Euro 2020, scoring just once and losing all 3 of their group games. 

The Crescent Stars will also be banking on raucous support as a lot of Turks have migrated into Germany over the years who will be desperate to see their team upset the odds against one of the tournament favourites. Turkey topped Group D in Euro qualifiers with 17 points from 8 games which was a testament to the team they have built. 

Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo who is now the first player in history to appear at 6 European championships had a somewhat difficult start to the tournament which saw them somehow scrape past the Czech Republic. Manager Roberto Martinez has his work cut out for him against Turkey and it remains to be seen whether he continues tweaking tactics or has he settled on a fixed formation for his side.

Currently in the 2nd spot in the Group with a +1 goal difference, the Seleccao will be hoping talisman Ronaldo regains form against Turkey and takes advantage just like he did in the qualifiers where he led his side to 10 wins in 10 games. 

Current Form

Both sides are coming off victories in their opener, with Turkey dispatching Georgia 3-1 at the same venue in what was their first-ever win in an opening game at the European Championships. Georges Mikautadze fought back for the plucky and genuinely impressive Georgia before Arda Guler’s wonder goal and then a late clincher from Kerem Akturkoglu gave Turkey three points.

Portugal had an opposite start and was quite tedious to watch against the Czech Republic, but they eventually dug out a 2-1 win in Leipzig. They conceded first thanks to an excellent goal from Lukas Provod before Robert Hranac let in an own goal and Francisco Conceicao bagged the winner.

Head to Head Record

The two sides have faced each other 9 times, with Portugal having 7 victories to their name while Turkey only has 2 wins. 

This clash has been a regular fixture at the Euros, with the most recent meeting at this competition a 2-0 win for Portugal during the Euro 2008 group stages — a match which Cristiano Ronaldo played in. 

Interestingly, Portugal won all the previous three Euro meetings without conceding a goal: 1-0 in the Euro 1996 group stage, 2-0 in the Euro 2000 quarter-finals and 2-0 in the Euro 2008 group stage.

The most recent meeting between these nations was Portugal’s 3-1 win to seal their place at the 2022 World Cup. Otavio, Diogo Jota, and Matheus Nunes scored for Portugal while Burak Yilmaz bagged the consolation strike for Turkey that night.

Team News

Ronaldo will need to recapture his form against Turkey

For Turkey, there are no major injuries of note but against a stronger Portuguese side, it is expected that they will try to gain more control in midfield. This will involve captain Hakan Calhanoglu playing in a more advanced role, whilst either Borussia Dortmund midfielder Salih Ozcan or Ismail Yuksek of Fenerbahce comes in alongside Kaan Ayhan.

Predicted Starting XIs

Turkey(4-2-3-1): Mert Gunok; Mert Muldur, Samet Akaydin, Abdulkerim Bardakci, Ferdi Kadioglu; Kaan Ayhan, Salih Ozcan; Arda Guler, Hakan Calhanoglu, Kenan Yildiz; Burak Yilmaz

Portugal (3-1-4-2): Diogo Costa; Ruben Dias, Pepe, Goncalo Inacio; Vitinha; Joao Cancelo, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Nuno Mendes; Joao Felix, Cristiano Ronaldo


Portugal goes into the tie as favorites given the weight of history but expect this tie to be a close one. If Turkey wins the battle in the midfield, they can cause problems for Portugal’s back three. A lot will depend on Guler and Yildiz’s form again after both the teenagers impressed against the Czech Republic.

Cristiano will be hoping to end his three-game goalless streak for his national team and link up well with Bruno and Silva, but a lot will also depend on Joao Felix up top as well.