After having badly fenced the first against Italy, Baku already represents the last resort for Turkey: another defeat, Wednesday against Wales, would compromise - in all likelihood, irremediably - the European path.
It is therefore forbidden to make mistakes for the national team of Senol Gunes, which compared to the next opponents had the advantage of an extra day of rest, even if from Rome they had to fly to Azerbaijan, where vice versa the Welsh have established their headquarters by now from a week.
In 45 minutes against the Azzurri, Turkey has conceded the same number of goals (three) as they had collected in the 10 European qualifying matches, resulting in the best continental defense (with Belgium), able to keep their goal unclimbed in seven matches. But on the eve of the inside-out match against the Welsh, head coach Senol Gunes avoided raising the tone, or anticipating trials.
"Italy was superior to us, but it is useless now to think about that defeat - the analysis of the Turkish coach -.
We could and should have played better, but now let's think about Wales. Because if we win the next two games, we can still qualify. "Despite the heavy criticism received from the Istanbul press, Gunes did not anticipate whether he will change form or formation against Wales." The owners of the Olimpico are excellent players, as are those who are remained on the bench.
The European Championship is still long: there are teams that start slower and others that are ready immediately. We only think of Wales, which of the three opponents in the group is the closest to us in the FIFA world rankings ".
Only six precedents between the two national teams: they command the Welsh with three victories (two for the Turks), even if Turkey won the last daring match, dating back to a quarter of a century ago, and finished 6-4 ( with poker signed by Hakan Sukur). On the pitch, in that match valid for the 1998 World Cup qualifiers, there was also Robert Page, who today leads the Dragon national team from the bench, capable of regaining Switzerland at the end, in the European debut, thanks to the goal of Kieffer Moore , the only owner who plays in a Welsh club.
"We wanted to start with a positive result and we succeeded - the words of Page -. It was very important not only for the morale of the group, but also for the confidence in view of the next matches". At the Olympic Stadium it will also be a challenge in the match between two Juventus players, Merih Demiral and Aaron Ramsey, both protagonists of a debut that is anything but lucky.
"But the whole team is growing, I have seen it in recent training sessions - reassured Page -. We always go out on the pitch to win, and so it will also be against Turkey. I don't know how many points will be needed to go through, I just think to the next match: Turkey is an excellent team, we respect them, but we are not afraid of anyone ".