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Euro 2024 Matchday 9 Predictions Including Turkey vs Portugal

Portugal's Francisco Conceicao celebrates his winner against Czechia in his nation's opener in Euro 2024.

Real Madrid’s past and future clash on matchday 9 of Euro 2024 when Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal take on underdogs Turkey, led by the young Arda Guler. Meanwhile Belgium look to recover from a shock defeat in the first group stage match and get back on track to qualify for the knockouts against a rising Romania. Our panelists offer their predictions.

Georgia vs Czechia (Saturday in Hamburg)

Steen Kirby: Both teams secured nothing to show from spirited performances to open the tournament, however Czechia was taking on a higher quality opponent and nearly came away with points against Portugal only to be beaten at the last. Georgia are not a side to sleep on, but frankly Czechia needs to win to maintain their chances of reaching the knockouts and I expect them to press on with the game and find a way to secure the winning goal, they should finally break down a well drilled Georgia. Prediction: Czechia 2 Georgia 1

Ben Gray: After these two teams were both beaten on Tuesday, this clash at Volksparkstadion feels must-win for all involved.

Georgia are debuting at a major tournament this summer, so traveled to Germany with low-expectations, but certainly gave a good account of themselves against Türkiye earlier this week. After falling behind mid-way through the first half to an absolute rocket, Giorgi Mikautadze bundled home an equaliser just seven minutes later, sparking scenes of pure jubilation, as all the Georgian supporters in attendance at Westfalenstadion celebrated the historic moment.

Türkiye then re-took the lead with another screamer 20 minutes into the second period, before the Crusaders squandered two golden chances to equalise, sending goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili forward for a 97th minute corner, only for the Crescent-Stars to counter-attack up the other end and secure a 3-1 victory. Despite defeat, Willy Sagnol’s side certainly showed enough to suggest they can earn a point, or potentially even all three on Saturday.

Czechia meanwhile were also heartbreakingly beaten on Tuesday, narrowly defeated 2-1 by Portugal in Leipzig. Lukáš Provod fired the Czechs in front with their only shot on target of the night at Red Bull Arena, only for a blunder from goalkeeper Jindřich Staněk, pushing the ball onto Robin Hranáč’s foot, to restore parity, before Portugal snatched victory in the 93rd minute. Ivan Hašek’s side were ultra-defensive in Saxony, so it’ll be interesting to see if Czechia can completely flip that game-plan, given that they’ll dominate possession here, under massive pressure to win.

These two nations have never previously met in a senior men’s international, but will have clashed three times by the end of the year, set to go head-to-head in Tbilisi in September and then somewhere in the Czech Republic in November in the UEFA Nations League. Will there be a winner in this historic, first-ever encounter in Hamburg, with three points a must for both? Prediction: 1-1 Draw

Turkey (Turkiye) vs Portugal (Saturday in Dortmund)

Steen: A draw would put both teams on 4 points and would send everyone home satisfied in terms of advancing to the knockout stages, but of course that result would look far more impressive for Turkiye. Roberto Martinez’s Portugal looked disjointed with their team of superstars at time on the first matchday, they remain favored, but can the midfield and attack finally sort itself out? Turkiye will feel pride having already won a match in the Euros, they are finding a bit of form now, but is that form enough to defeat one of the tournament favorites? I remain doubtful. Prediction: Portugal 2 Turkiye 0

Ben: Group F’s two matchday one winners go head-to-head on Saturday evening at Westfalenstadion, so who will book their place in the round of 16?

In Tuesday’s early kick off, Türkiye beat Georgia 3-1 in an absolute thriller, taking the lead through Mert Müldür’s stunning half-volley, just his second international goal, only for the Crusaders to equalise soon after; the ball squirming under Mert Günok’s hands.

Then, 20 minutes into the second period, a majestic curler from Arda Güler restored the Crescent-Stars’ advantage before, in the 97th minute, Georgia sent their goalkeeper up for a corner, only for this ploy to spectacularly back-fire, with Kerem Aktürkoğlu racing up the other end and rolling in a third to rubber stamp the points.

Vincenzo Montella’s side certainly suggested that they’re going to be fun at this tournament, already doing better than the Turkish team of three years ago, that lost all three games, scoring just one goal, and just a point here would see them reach the knockouts for the first time in 16 years.

Portugal meantime, despite dominating possession, shots and any other metric, underlying or otherwise, you can find, had to come from behind to beat Czechia on Tuesday night. With the score 1-1 going into stoppage time, Roberto Martínez threw on two players who would combine for the winner at Red Bull Arena, with Pedro Neto’s pull-back fired in by Francisco Conceição, a dramatic way for the 21 year old to score his first international goal. Many are tipping the 2016 winners for a deep run at this tournament, and a Seleção certainly have the talent to go all the way, but will be hoping for a better performance this time.

These two nations have previously met three times at European Championships, with Portugal winning all three, prevailing 1-0 at the City Ground in ’96, 2-0 at the Johan Cruijff Arena four years later and 2-0 in Geneva in 2008, also 3-1 victors the last time they met, this a World Cup play-off semi-final at the Dragão two years ago. In all, Portugal have won seven of their nine encounters, Türkiye’s two victories coming in friendlies in 1955 and 2012, so there should only be one outcome in Dortmund. Prediction: Portugal 2 Turkey (Turkiye) 1

Belgium vs Romania (Saturday in Cologne)

Steen: Belgium’s shock defeat in the opening match was clouded by the fact at least three Belgium goals in the run of play were disallowed by VAR, including a controversial handball call (and a no-call as well). It’s looking like yet another disappointing tournament for the Red Devils, Kevin De Bruyne was poor and lost in the midfield, Romelo Lukaku threatened but could not (legally) score and Lois Openda came on too late as a sub to provide the winning impact in the eyes of many Belgian fans. Something continues to be wrong with this Belgian team, especially in attack and linkup play, although Manchester City’s Jeremy Doku is great at having a run on the goal. Romania will remain underdogs here, a big win against Ukraine where they showed this team is far stronger than the sum of its parts will inspire them to more glory, and they have an excellent defence that is hard to break down. That’s going to be a problem for Belgium, and thus look for Romania to fight hard to get to 4 points where they have an almost certain chance at the knockout stages, Romania is good enough to limit Belgium unless the Belgians drastically improve. Prediction: 1-1 Draw

Ben: Fair to say, these two nations made contrasting starts to their European Championship campaigns on Monday, leaving Belgium under enormous pressure to claim victory at RheinEnergieStadion.

The Red Devils were beaten 1-0 by Slovakia, the fourth lowest-ranked team at this tournament, in their opener, the only goal coming after just seven minutes, before Romelu Lukaku had not one but two goals disallowed by VAR, the second for a very debatable handball by Loïs Openda.

Nevertheless, this is a calamitous result for Domenico Tedesco’s team, his first defeat in charge of Belgium, leaving the Red Devils in a perilous position, desperate to avoid a repeat of the group phase exit they suffered in Qatar.

In stark contrast, Monday was an historic day for Romania, who hammered Ukraine 3-0 in Munich, with both captain Nicolae Stanciu and then Răzvan Marin lashing home long-range wonder-strikes, before Denis Drăguș poked in a third to secure the points soon after. Before this, amazingly, the Tricolours had only ever won one of 16 Euros matches, beating England 3-2 in Charleroi 24 years ago, but even a draw here for Edward Iordănescu’s side would book their place in the knockout stages.

So, based on what we’ve seen so far, an entertaining affair should be on the cards in Köln, and we’re backing Belgium to claim a vital victory. Prediction: Belgium 2 Romania 1

Main Photo Credit: IMAGO: Portugal Football, Francisco Conceicao


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