After a perfect qualifying campaign for Euro 2012, Germany have already assured themselves of a place in next years finals. The only issue in Group A remains who will finish runners up and take their chances in the play offs and that could become clearer when Turkey host the Germans on Friday night. With two matches still to play Turkey are currently in second place in this group. Although Germany are out of sight, the Turks need to stave off third placed Belgium who are currently two points further back and who play their penultimate group match at home to Kazakhstan.
This is the first of two home matches for Turkey to wrap up their qualifying campaign and as they finish up with a very winnable looking meeting with Azerbaijan next week when Belgium will be in Germany, the Turks look to be firm favorites to clinch second place. Should Turkey and Belgium finish with the same points total, the head to head results are also in favor of the Turks so avoiding defeat here would see them within touching distance. The earlier meeting between these sides was won 3-0 by Germany almost 12 months ago to the day. Turkey were beaten in Azerbaijan soon after but have recovered since and they have won their previous home fixtures in this group including the potentially crucial 3-2 win over Belgium. The stats show Turkey have won 11 and drawn one of their last 12 home fixtures and whilst the strength of opposition has not always been the most challenging, Guus Hiddink’s side are no mugs on home soil.
The Germans may be home and hosed but they still enjoy winning football matches. Since their defeat by Spain in the semi finals of the 2010 World Cup, they have played 16 games of which 11 have been won and a 2-1 defeat in a friendly with Australia is the only blemish. Their last eight matches, four friendly internationals and four Euro 2012 qualifiers have seen a deluge of goals. The tougher away fixtures in this group saw Germany win 1-0 in Belgium, 2-1 in Austria and 3-1 in Azerbaijan whilst they drew a recent friendly at Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland 2-2 last month. Germany have named a strong squad with the aim of making their group campaign a perfect ten in terms of the number of wins.
Whilst the outcome of this game has more riding on it for the Turks than the Germans I still expect a decent contest with an edge to it although it’s worth pointing out the first meeting only saw one yellow card. With Germany already qualified, it might be tempting for the coach to rest some players and try just ease through this game. However, there is still enough quality in this German side to get the win and it is hard to have total confidence in Turkey. The best bet for Friday night would be to back over 2.5 goals @ around 1.80. Turkey have already scored seven goals in their recent three qualifying games at home while the Germans have been one of the most prolific scorers of the campaign so far. Also in the first goal-scorer market, back Mario Gomez @ around 7.0. Gomez has hit four goals in qualifying while he has netted eight times in seven games for Bayern Munich this season.