Euro 2024: Bullish Austria aims to beat Turkey to reach quarterfinals for first time

LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) — Austria is bidding to go farther than it ever has at a European Championship when it takes on Turkey in the round of 16. The Austrians surprisingly topped a group ahead of France and the Netherlands and are bullish about progressing to the quarterfinals under German coach Ralf Rangnick. Turkey has shown signs of individual brilliance but is yet to click at Euro 2024 and will be without suspended captain Hakan Calhanoglu. Kickoff is at 9 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) on Tuesday. Here’s what to know about the match:

Match facts

— Turkey reached the semifinals of Euro 2008 and is looking for another deep run in the tournament. But Italian coach Vincenzo Montella’s team struggled to beat 10-man Czech Republic in the last game and was beaten 3-0 by Portugal before that. Turkey qualified for the knockout stage as runner-up in Group F.

— Austria recovered from an opening 1-0 loss to France by beating Poland 3-1 and then the Netherlands 3-2 to top Group D.

— Calhanoglu and defender Samet Akaydin are suspended for Turkey because of an accumulation of yellow cards, while 10 of its players – including Arda Guler and Kenan Yildiz – are in danger of missing the next match if booked.

— Austria will be without suspended defender Patrick Wimmer, while eight players including captain Marko Arnautovic are in danger of suspension.

— Austria and Turkey played a friendly in Vienna in March, when Austria won 6-1.

— Turkey defeated Austria 6-0 on aggregate in a playoff to reach the 2002 World Cup, where the team went on to finish third.

— Austria lost only one of its 10 qualifying games for Euro 2024 and lost only once last year. Rangnick’s team has won 14 of its last 19 matches, losing just two.

— Turkey came into Euro 2024 without a win in five matches.

— Austria has never been involved in a competitive penalty shootout, while Turkey defeated Croatia 4-2 in a shootout in the Euro 2008 quarterfinals.

— Both captains, Calhanoglu and Arnautovic, helped Inter Milan win Serie A last season.

— Austria’s Marcel Sabitzer and Turkey’s Salih Ozcan are Borussia Dortmund teammates, while Turkey defender Mert Muldur was born in Vienna. The Fenerbahce player was in the youth ranks of Rapid Vienna with Austria players Niklas Hedl and Leopold Querfeld.

— If Austria wins, it could mean a quick rematch in Berlin against the Dutch. The winner of this game will play the Netherlands or Romania in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Team news

— Turkey had concerns about Real Madrid star Arda Guler during the group stage, but the 19-year-old attacking midfielder played from the start in the final group game and is fit. Montella had no injury worries on Monday – just complaints about the suspensions. “I always want everyone available for selection. We will be without two players and we’ll be without our captain, who’s irreplaceable. He played very well, just as Samet played very well. These are key absentees.”

— Rangnick also reported no late injury worries on Monday. Real Madrid defender David Alaba, who would have been captain, is missing the tournament as he recovers from a knee injury.

By the numbers

— Austria has a better record with nine wins to Turkey’s seven from their previous 17 meetings. There was one draw.

— Austria’s six goals at Euro 2024 have all come from different players.

— Austria is playing in the Euros for the fourth time and the third in succession. Its campaign was ended in the last 16 by eventual champion Italy in the last edition.

— Turkey is making its sixth tournament appearance, and third in succession.

— It will be Turkey’s first game in Leipzig.

What they’re saying

“They are a very tough team who apply a lot of pressure. In the friendly there, we couldn’t respond to their pressure. I see this more as just another match rather than a chance for revenge. We want to win this match; even if it’s 1-0, it needs to be ours. We need to eliminate them and move forward.” — Turkey defender Zeki Celik.

“It doesn’t matter to us if our opponents are Austria or another country, to be honest. It wouldn’t be right to see this as an opportunity for revenge. Excessive ambition could backfire on us. We should keep both feet on the ground and do everything we can to win the game.” — Turkey goalkeeper Mert Gunok.

“The team knows full well that no matter who we play against, if we give our best performance, we can beat any opponent. But the players are still completely grounded and know exactly what’s important. The energy we bring to the field is what has made us a special team so far.” — Austria coach Ralf Rangnick.


AP Euro 2024:

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