Gibraltar face a tough World Cup Qualifier tomorrow as group leaders Turkey visit the Victoria Stadium.
Photo © C Correa Photography
After Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat against Latvia, Gibraltar must now prepare to host a side who have picked up eight points from their first four games in the group and sit above both the Netherlands and Norway in the race to reach Qatar 2022.
Gib’s task was made harder by the fact Blackburn defender Louie Annesley, who fills in as a makeshift central midfielder in the national team, will be serving a one-match suspension after accumulating two yellow cards in the qualifiers so far – a whole host of other Gib players would miss Tuesday’s trip to Norway should they get booked tomorrow night.
After impressive victories vs the Netherlands and Norway, Turkey were bought back down to earth somewhat, both by their disappointing Euro 2020 tournament showing, and draws against Latvia and Montenegro respectively in this qualifying group. They remain top of Group G and know a win against Gib would ensure they stay there at the halfway stage of the qualifying group.
For Gibraltar, they will be desperately hoping to improve on some of the worrying stats that have come up during this qualifying campaign – they are averaging the least possession of all 55 nations, at an average of 23.7%, while they have attempted the joint-fewest shots (seven in four games) and have failed to register a shot on target from open play (both shots on target were from penalties). They also have the joint-fourth worst disciplinary record (albeit opponents Turkey are the worst with 13 yellow cards in four games), and Gib’s pass completion rate is the lowest among all 55 nations at just 57.9% (all stats courtesy of Whoscored and UEFA.com).
Unsurprisingly, Turkey come into this game as heavy favourites, with a best price of 1/41 available. For Gibraltar, they are as big as 450/1 to take all three points, while the draw is best price 40/1. Both Teams To Score is currently 18/5, and the Over/Under line is set at 4.5, with both Over and Under 4.5 goals best price EVS depending who you bet with.
In the goalscorer betting, with striker Burak Yilmaz suspended, Getafe’s Enes Unal is favourite to score the first goal at 4/1, while free-kick speciality Hakan Calhanoglu is 9/2 if he starts. For Gib, Tjay De Barr is 14/1 to score anytime and could be on penalty duty like he was in Riga.
* All prices correct as of 10:59 CEST 3rd September 2021, and prices may fluctuate. Please gamble responsibly. 18+ www.begambleaware.org
Tomorrow’s match officials hail from Estonia, with 40-year-old Kristo Tohver the man in the middle. He has been a FIFA-listed official since 2010, and this will be his first team refereeing a Gibraltarian team.
Gibraltar – Coleing; Sergeant, Mouelhi, Wiseman, Bosio, Olivero; Valarino, Badr, Barnett, Pons; De Barr
Turkey – Bayindir; Ayhan, Kabak, Demiral, R. Yilmaz; Yazici, Yokuslu, Ucan; Yaziki, Unal, Karaman