Weblog: The football punter

History beckons for improving Turkey

I must admit, England's friendly against Turkey has crept up on me a bit.

It seems like only Saturday that we were watching the FA Cup final and suddenly it's full steam ahead towards Euro 2016.

Still, it's out patriotic duty to have a punt on an England friendly, even if half of Roy's boys are putting their feet up after end-of-season club exertions.

Turkey have developed into a decent footballing nation so it's a surprise to discover through this website's fine head-to-head tool that they've got a woeful record against England.

The Three Lions have handed out a couple of 8-0 stuffings to the Turks, as well as a 4-0 and a 5-0, and Sunday's visitors haven't scored against England in ten attempts.

The best policy with research like that is to completely ignore it so I'm having a small bet on both teams to score.

There'll be a bit of fatigue in the legs, plenty of tactical tweaks and experimenting with personnel and, hopefully, lots of defensive errors.

Hibernian landed the Scottish Cup for the first time in 114 years on Saturday and I'm backing Turkey to make their own little piece of history in Manchester.

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Match in Focus

19:45 Fr 27May

Ireland v Holland

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Five of Ireland’s last seven games have featured under 2.5 goals
Expert verdict
This Holland side is a pale imitation of previous Dutch teams and they failed to qualify for Euro 2016, so Ireland have little to fear. The hosts have conceded just three goals in their last seven matches at the Aviva Stadium, displaying the defensive characteristics expected of an Martin O’Neil outfit, so expect another low-scoring game.