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‘Did not want to take any risks’ – Turkey coach explains Arda Guler benching vs Portugal

‘Did not want to take any risks’ – Turkey coach explains Arda Guler benching vs Portugal
‘Did not want to take any risks’ – Turkey coach explains Arda Guler benching vs Portugal

After a dominating 3-0 win in the first match, Turkey will look to consolidate their position on top of Group F as they take on Portugal.

However, Turkey will approach this game without the services of Arda Guler, at least as far as the starting eleven is concerned.

The Real Madrid playmaker has been predictably left out of the starting eleven after Vincenzo Montella confirmed he was struggling with fatigue, shortly after the Georgia game.

Montella on Guler’s exclusion

Even though Guler is not starting against Portugal, his presence on the bench has led many to believe he can appear in the second half.

However, Turkish head coach Montella has offered a rather grim outlook on Guler’s fitness, suggesting that he might not be fit to appear in the second half.

The Italian tactician also explained why Guler was left out of the starting eleven.

“We talked to Arda and the doctor, he was tired. We did not want to take any risks, I hope with all my heart that we will not need him in the second half,” he said (h/t Sporx).

Arda Guler may not feature against Portugal at all (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Arda Guler may not feature against Portugal at all (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Montella’s statement hints Guler might not be able to feature against Portugal, even in the second half.

This could prove to be a massive blow for the Turks, as Guler is arguably one of their greatest threats going forward. His absence could thus significantly weaken the attacking line for Montella’s men.

Turkey, though, will be hoping Guler returns to full fitness by the time they take on Czechia on Wednesday, in what will be their last group game.