High-flying Turkey visits Luxembourg for UEFA Nations League tie

A high-flying Turkish national football team, helmed by German coach Stefan Kuntz, visits Luxembourg for its third UEFA Nations League match Saturday.

The Crescent-Stars have made an impressive start to their 2022-23 Nations League campaign.

Playing alongside the Faroe Islands, Lithuania and Luxembourg in Turkey tops League C, Group 1, with two wins in two matches so far.

It kicked off the group stages battle in style by hammering European minnows the Faroe Islands 4-0 on June 4 in Istanbul

Turkey then carried the momentum to Vilnius, with a dominating 6-0 away win against host side Lithuania earlier Tuesday. Debutant Doğukan Sinik and Serdar Dursun scored two goals each in the route.

Luxembourg, on the other hand, has also made a good start, beating Lithuania 2-0 in the opening match, before securing a hard-fought 1-0 win in the second.

It is currently level with League C, Group 1 leader Turkey in terms of points, but is second on goal difference.

A win in the match against Luxembourg can make Turkey the undisputed group leader.

Turkey does not have any injury concerns, and nor is it missing any key players through suspension.

The match at the Luxembourg Stadium will be officiated by Portuguese referee Antonio Emanuel Carvalho Nobre.

It will kick off at 9:45 pm in Turkey (5:45 pm GMT) and will be live on state broadcaster TRT 1.

In the other match in the group, Lithuania will host the Faroe Islands.

Turkey’s coach Stefan Kuntz during a UEFA Nations League match against Lithuania, Vilnius, Lithuania, June 7, 2022.(AP Photo)

Ninth match under Kuntz

Turkey will play its ninth match under coach Kuntz against Luxemburg.

The German coach has led the national team to five wins and one draw while suffering two losses so far.

Turkey has scored 24 goals and conceded nine in the eight matches under Kuntz.

The Crescent-Stars drew 1-1 with Norway in the first match played under Kuntz. It then beat Latvia 2-1 and picked up a 6-0 win against Gibraltar.

In the fourth match, Kuntz’s men defeated Montenegro 2-1 away in the 2022 FIFA World Cup European Qualification Group G and qualified for the playoff semifinals.

However, Turkey’s hopes of participating in the Qatar World Cup were dashed after a 3-1 away loss to Portugal in the playoff semis.

The national team then lost 3-2 against European champion Italy in a friendly match in Konya.

The match against Luxembourg will be the 607th game in Turkey national team’s history.

The Crescent-Stars have played 606 matches, 329 official and 277 unofficial, in their 99-year history, with 232 wins, 144 draws and 230 defeats, one of which was a forfeit.

Turkey Squad

Goalkeepers: Altay Bayındır (Fenerbahçe), Doğan Alemdar (Rennes), Uğurcan Çakır (Trabzonspor)

Defense: Mert Müldür, Kaan Ayhan (Sassuolo), Zeki Çelik (Lille), Cenk Özkaçar (OH Leuven), Çağlar Soyuncu (Leicester City), Merih Demiral (Atalanta), Ozan Kabak (Norwich City), Eren Elmalı (Kasımpaşa), Ferdi Kadıoğlu (Fenerbahce), Rıdvan Yılmaz (Beşiktaş)

Midfielder and forward: Cengiz Ünder (Olympic Marseille), Yunus Akgün (Adana Demirspor), Berkan Kutlu, Kerem Aktürkoğlu, Halil Dervişoğlu (Galatasaray), Dorukhan Toköz (Trabzonspor), Hakan Çalhanoğlu (Inter), Orkun Kökçü (Fyenoord), Salih Özcan (Köln), Doğukan Sinik (Fraport TAV Antalyaspor), Enes Ünal (Getafe), Serdar Dursun (Fenerbahçe), Tiago Çukur (Watford).

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