Although the Netherlands have already qualified for the 2014 World Cup, they appear to be unstoppable at this point. That could mean bad news for a Turkey squad that desperately needs a win.
Holland have cruised through qualifying in Group D, winning eight of nine matches with only a draw with Estonia preventing perfection. While some would think they would take it easy after clinching first place in the group, that did not happen last match when they defeated Hungary 8-1.
Turkey will hope to put on a better performance against the Dutch in this one. They enter the match tied for second place in the group with Romania and only two points ahead of Hungary.
At this point, they have nothing to lose, so do not be surprised to see the players leave it all on the line over the course of 90 minutes to earn a key victory.
When: Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. BST
Where: Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey
Watch: ESPN Deportes (Replay on Oct. 17 at 12 p.m. ET)
Live Stream: ESPN3
Odds (via Paddy Power): Turkey (11-8), Netherlands (7-4), Draw (13-5)
Top Storyline: Can Turkey Keep the World Cup Dream Alive?
Turkey have only qualified for one World Cup in the past 50 years, although that 2002 appearance ended in a miracle run to third place. Still, the squad has a chance to get there again with a positive result.
The problem heading into this match is that the two closest competitors in the table have much weaker opponents to end qualifying. Romania is home against Estonia, while Hungary host Andorra. In all likelihood, both matches will end in wins for the home sides.
This means that a draw against one of the top teams in the world might not even be enough to get Turkey second place. However, a win would likely secure the spot thanks to an advantage in goal differential.
That would put the team into a playoff against another second-place squad for a place in the 2014 World Cup. It will not be easy to earn a trip to Brazil, but they have as good of a chance as ever.
Prediction: Netherlands 2, Turkey 2
Turkey have been in excellent form lately to put the squad in good position in the table. They have won three matches in a row and have not allowed a goal in any of them. Burak Yilmaz has a goal in each win, while fellow forward Umut Bulut has four scores in this stretch.
It would not be surprising to see this hot streak continue with each of them getting onto the scoresheet in this contest.
However, you cannot discredit the Netherlands attack, especially after scoring eight goals in the previous match.
While Robin van Persie is the player to watch, Arjen Robben can set up chances as well as anyone in the world. If the defense tries to shut down RVP, the midfielder will simply find others who can finish strongly.
Turkey's aggressiveness is likely to make this a high-scoring match, and the Dutch squad will not want to lose for the first time in qualifying. Expect these teams to leave with a draw that might not be enough to help the home team.
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