The World Cup went far better than Russians could possibly have hoped for, both on and off the pitch. Their squad was largely ridiculed prior to the tournament but in the end they performed well, knocking out Spain and coming within a penalty shootout of the last four. Coach Stanislav Cherchesov has signed a new two year deal and will have his heart set on guiding Russia to Euro 2020.
Turkey have not played at the World Cup since 2002 but they do have a much better record in terms of qualifying for the Euros and to some extent that road starts here. They have reached 4 of the last 6 tournaments, with their best effort reaching the Semi-Finals, along with Russia, a decade ago.
Turkey have not beaten Russia since the break-up of the Soviet Union, losing their first two friendlies 1-0 in 1994 and 1998 and drawing the next two – 0-0 in 2016 and 1-1 in June. In that game in June, Alexander Samedov opened the scoring but Yunus Malli equalised to ensure a share of the spoils.
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