Euro 2016 might be just two days old, but has already produced some close matches, and Croatia's first match of the campaign against Turkey is expected to be no exception. Croatia and Turkey are placed in Group D along with the Czech Republic and titled defenders Spain.
Spain are expected to top the group, and the other three teams will fight for the second spot. Hence, this match against Croatia and Turkey becomes an important one.
With this being the first matches of both teams in Euro 2016, there is a serious need to get the team combinations right. Both teams have some well-known stars like Luka Modric (Croatia) and Arda Turan (Turkey). However, the game will be much more than how these two players perform as all 11 players on the field need to come up with a quality performance to help their team win their Euro 2016 opening match.
Turkey looked good in the qualifying stages, but the competition is going to be much tougher, and they need their big players to step up their game. Besides Turan, who is their talismanic player, striker Burak Yilmaz needs to be on top form for Turkey.
Yilmaz has not played much as he has recently returned from an injury, so one may not see the player for the full 90 minutes. Yilmaz is expected to be well-supported by Bayern Leverkusen midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, who needs to provide some good assists to the striker. Turkey will look for inspiration from Turan, who will hold the key in Euro 2016.
Croatia have some wonderful midfielders in the form of Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic, and their coach Ante Cacic will hope they get their game right and link well with the forwards, primarily Mario Mandzukic.
Besides their Juventus striker, who will lead the line, Crotia also have Fiorentina's Nikola Kalinic and Hoffenheim's Andrej Kramaric, both of whom have been impressive for their respective clubs.
Both teams seem to have some good attacking players, especially Croatia, so the match may be decided by the back four. The team that defends consistently for the entire length of the game should emerge victorious.
Expected starting line-up: Turkey: Babacan; Gonul, Topal, Balta, Erkin; Inan; Calhanoglu, Tufan, Ozyakup, Turan; Yilmaz
Croatia: Subasic; Srna, Vida, Schildenfeld, Strinic; Modric, Badelj; Pjaca, Rakitic, Perisic; Mandzukic