15 October 2019
France and Turkey go head-to-head in the 2020 European Championship qualifying (ECQ) at the Stade de France, as the two nations battle it out for the top spot in Group H. Both sides have started October’s international break with a 1-0 triumph respectively and are now one step away from advancing to next summer’s final tournament.
Although they sit second in the standings ahead of this fixture, the hosts are level on points with Turkey (18) and have a six-point lead over third-placed Iceland. A narrow victory over Iceland last time out now means that four of France’s six wins in Group H have been accompanied by a clean sheet, even though it was their first triumph in the ongoing qualifying that saw them score less than two goals. Also, Les Bleus have prevented their rivals scoring in 18 of their last 21 ECQ triumphs at home. Almost unstoppable when at home, Didier Deschamp’s men have won each of their opening three ECQ matches on French soil by a margin of at least three goals.
The visitors, on the other hand, won each of their last three ECQ games to nil, with two of those triumphs ending with the same 1-0 scoreline. In fact, they’ve kept a clean sheet in all but one of their seven matches in their qualifying campaign so far, with a 2-1 away loss to Iceland being the only exception. The Crescent-Stars will be looking to replicate the same performance that brought them a 2-0 victory in the reversed fixture, but the fact that they’ve lost both of their previous visits to France without scoring a single goal certainly troubles Şenol Güneş. Taking into account their trips in the UEFA Nations League, none of Turkey’s last five competitive away fixtures has ended in a draw (W3, L2), with each of those results (wins/losses) seeing the winning side net at least two goals.
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