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Turkey boss expects stern challenge from Wales

18 Jun 2023 2 minute read
Stefan Kuntz. Photo by beIN SPORTS Türkiye is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Turkey boss Stefan Kuntz says he expects Wales to present a stern challenge in Samsun after their pride was hurt by Armenia on Friday.

Wales slumped to a shock 4-2 home defeat to Armenia as Turkey won 3-2 in Latvia to leapfrog Rob Page’s side and take top spot in their Euro 2024 qualifying group.

With Croatia, who have played no June qualifiers due to their Nations League finals commitments, expected to top the section Turkey could claim a serious advantage over Wales in the battle for the second qualifying spot.

“Considering the pride of the Welsh players, I think it will be a bit more difficult than Latvia,” said former Germany striker Kuntz.

“But we are focused on how to win and in the starting 11 I will include different players from the Latvian match.”


Asked about Wales losing key personnel in Gareth Bale and Joe Allen since the World Cup, Kuntz said: “It is a team we still respect.

“I don’t know their game plan, but we have our plans and we know what we need to do to apply pressure on them.

“The boys are motivated to show what they can do, the aim is to qualify for this tournament next summer.

“I know the quality of our team is good and I want to take advantage of the situation.”

Wales beat Turkey 2-0 at the delayed 2020 European Championship two years ago.

Aaron Ramsey and Connor Roberts scored in Baku as Wales deprived Turkey of a place in the knockout stage.

Galatasaray defender Abdulkerim Bardakci said: “We will see a great support behind us in Samsun.

“I told my friends it was a city with a love of football and a city with passion.

“We want to take one more step to reach our dream and play in the Euro finals.”

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