Xavier answers his question before the 2022 FIFA World Cup European Qualifiers play-off round semifinals, where Turkey will play Portugal tomorrow.
Expressing that he loves the Turkish people and fans in Galatasaray and will never forget them, Xavier made the following assessment of tomorrow night’s match:
“It will be a match where I will feel two emotions. This World Cup is important because it will be the last World Cup for our senior players. That is why coach Santos says how important it is to participate in the World Cup. Also, the president of the federation was in office last year in Turkey. It is very important to skip it and go to the next round. Everyone is aware of the importance of the match. Portugal has important flaws. It is a very difficult match. Both sides. I see it as a midfield match. , Turkish players “I know the structure of the character. Many character and warrior players. The Turkish national team is a very strong national team, it has gone through some difficult times, but then it has come out of very tough problem days. I think the match between Portugal and Turkey will be in the middle. “
“Portugal misses key players in defense”
Abel Xavier, who is critical of Portugal’s lack of maintenance, said: “There is a lack of very important players in Portugal’s defense. Ruben Dias and Pepe. Pepe and Ruben Dias are the building blocks of this team. The winger has to be pulled towards the center-back. But this game is a final game, a single game and it will not have much effect since there are players in the player group. Those who know each other well. Fernando Santos will play 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, “he said.
Xavier answers the question, “Which side do you see closest to crossing the round?”
“Normally, I would answer your question 60 percent Portugal and 40 percent Turkey – because the first international match will be played in Porto for the first time in a very long time. Will move to the north. Because the international match has not been played in Porto for a long time. The people living in Porto and its surroundings are very inspired. There will be an advantage for Portugal. “There will be no Reuben Neves in midfield, which is a significant loss. But we should not forget that if the Turkish players are well-focused and mentally prepared, they can turn this ratio from 60 to 40 percent to 50-50 percent. “
“Turkey could be very effective in losing balls to Portugal”
“Portugal will have a lot more balls and will attack a lot more.” The former Portuguese national footballer predicted, “As a coach I have watched a lot of matches for the Turkish national team. Turkey is a team that defends very well, especially in the last matches. In today’s football, too much possession and attack on the ball. No. Since Turkey is an effective team in the transition offensive while defending, no matter how many balls Portugal strikes and attacks, Turkey can be very effective in the ball that Portugal loses.
Abel Xavier, who said that Turkey has a strong position with four defenses and two midfields in front of it, said:
“Hakan Chalhanoglu and Berat Ozdemi are my favorite players in Turkey. But Berat is not in the squad at the moment. They have both played a very important role in retaining the midfield and supporting the forwards. Four defenders and two midfielders will be the most important part of this match for Turkey. Abul Qadir Omar’s clever moves are important. It is important for Burak Ilmaz to be between the two defenders. Because Pepe and Ruben Dias are not playing, Burak. Has come a long way since. As I’ve seen before, some players would go ahead but they didn’t. I won’t be back soon. I can see that Turkey has a strategic discipline, especially in the last match, and you play for this strategic discipline, “he said.