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International Friendly Preview: Republic of Ireland v Turkey

23 May 2014 14:44

Martin O'Neill sees the Republic of Ireland's friendly against Turkey as key in their preparations for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers.

The two meet in Dublin on Sunday as both countries look to the future after failing to qualify for the FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil.

The visit of Fatih Terim's Turkey marks O'Neill's fourth match in charge, having taken the job in November last year.

So far, the former Sunderland and Aston Villa boss has overseen one win, one draw and a defeat - all in friendlies - and will be looking to improve on that record.

After the clash with Turkey, Ireland take on Italy at Craven Cottage on May 31, before travelling to the United States for matches with Costa Rica and Portugal.

"I am looking forward to working with the players over the coming weeks, which will be important as we work towards our opening qualification matches in September," O'Neill said at the unveiling of his squad.

"The matches will be about getting to know the players better and changing them around a little bit in terms of personnel in different matches."

O'Neill included two uncapped players in his 29-strong party, with Everton's Shane Duffy and Newcastle United's Rob Elliot hoping to make their international debuts, the latter having missed his own pre-wedding celebrations to join up with the squad.

Like Ireland, Turkey fell short of World Cup qualification, finishing fourth in Group D, three points behind second-placed Romania, who clinched a play-off spot.

Terim's men warmed up for the weekend's game by thumping minnows Kosovo 6-1 on Wednesday, with the experienced coach opting for a youthful line-up in Mitrovica.

Mustafa Pektemek scored twice in that win, while the pacey Ahmet Ilhan Ozek impressed down the right-hand side, and both will be pushing to be included against Ireland.

The experienced trio of Nuri Sahin, Selcuk Inan and Burak Yilmaz were all named in Terim's squad, but it remains to be seen whether they will feature, while 72-cap Arda Turan has the UEFA Champions League final for Atletico Madrid 24 hours earlier and will join up with the squad at a later date.

Turkey have been drawn in Group A for Euro 2016 qualification, along with the Netherlands and Czech Republic, but with third place now being good enough to earn a play-off spot for an expanded tournament, Terim and his squad will feel confident of beating the likes of Iceland, Kazakhstan and Latvia to secure a top-three finish.

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Info

Competition
Friendlies
Date
25 May 2014
Kick-off
19:00
Half-time
0 - 1
Full-time
1 - 2
Venue
Aviva Stadium (Dublin)
Attendance
15000

Goals

0 - 1
17' A. Özek
 (assist by G. Gönül)
0 - 2
75' T. Camdal
 (assist by O. Özyakup)
J. Walters 78'
(assist by W. Hoolahan) 
1 - 2

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
8
21
10 78'
18
24
13
14
5
1
15
19
23
12
# Player Bookings
15
16
20
24 75'
17
3
13
22
6
11
25
1
4
23

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