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Written By Jacobs Dunga

As expected, both Turkey and Portugal picked maximum points from their opening games. Whilst Turkey recorded a convincing 3-1 win over debutants Georgia, Portugal laboured to a stoppage time comeback victory over Czech Republic. The two nations face off on Saturday evening in a real test of character.


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Turkey

After entering the tournament winless in five games prior to their first match, Turkey immediately laid every doubt to rest with a commanding victory over Georgia. Vicenzo Montella is on course to maximize the potentials of the generational talents at his disposal.  Buoyed by that confidence lifting win, the Crescent Stars will fancy their chances against one of the pre tournament favourites.

Portugal

Portugal returned with three points in their first game against Czech Republic, that did not come without a scare actually. The Selecao were made to dig deep against their less fancied opponents who sprung into a surprise lead. Despite having most of the ball, Roberto Martinez’ side looked clueless and lacked a cutting edge for most of the game. It took a 92nd minute effort from one of the substitutes to settle the affair in favour of the Iberian nation.

Head To Head

Portugal hold the advantage over their opponents, Turkey are yet to win a competitive tie against their European rivals. Two (2-0) victories for Portugal in their two previous meetings at the Euros and a 3-1 victory in their most recent meeting, coming in the Nations League give Portugal the bragging rights. A 3-1 win in a friendly game in 2012 remains the only positive for Turkey against the 2016 winners.

Key Performers

Despite the array of stars on display, Vitinha stood head and shoulders above the more proclaimed stars. However, it took the brilliance of 21 year old Francisco Conceicao to finally unlock the win.

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Living up to prematch hype, Arda Guler followed up his debut season with Real Madrid by announcing himself to the international stage in style. His 65th minute effort is already a contender for the goal of the tournament.

Verdict 

Going by performances from their opening games, Turkey will approach the game with every ounce of positivity, and with the expectation that they can take something off the Portuguese team.

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