Preview: Lithuania vs. Turkey - prediction, team news, lineups -

Preview: Lithuania vs. Turkey – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s Nations League clash between Lithuania and Turkey, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

On the back of contrasting starts to the UEFA Nations League campaign, Lithuania and Turkey will do battle on Tuesday in the second round of fixtures.

The hosts suffered an opening defeat to Luxembourg last time out, while the heavily-fancied visitors kicked off their bid for promotion with a dominant win over Faroe Islands.

Match preview

Turkey coach Stefan Kuntz on March 29, 2022© Reuters

Lithuania were just able to avoid a relegation to League D of the UEFA Nations League in 2020, as they collected eight points in their group to beat Kazakhstan to fourth spot.

They then went through a tough World Cup Qualifying campaign last year, as they finished at the bottom of their group with the only three points in the eight games coming courtesy of a win over Bulgaria in October.

Having again failed to reach a first major tournament, the Rinktine headed into their first action of the new year in the form of a pair of friendlies in March, and, after a 2-1 win over San Marino, they suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Republic of Ireland as Troy Parrott hit the only goal of the game deep into injury time.

Looking to again preserve their status in the third tier of the Nations League, Valdas Ivanauskas‘s men began with a home contest against Luxembourg, and they were unable to put a positive result on the board as Danel Sinani hit a brace in a 2-0 win for the visitors.

While they will be keen to quickly get a points tally up and running, Lithuania head into a particularly tough clash on Tuesday with the odds stacked against them.

Lithuania manager Valdas Ivanauskas on March 29, 2022© Reuters

After finishing second in their World Cup Qualifying group last year, following an underwhelming Euro 2020 campaign, Turkey headed into their first game of 2022 in the playoffs for this year’s World Cup, and they faced a tough semi-final test against Portugal.

The Crescent-Stars fell short in Porto, despite Burak Yilmaz halving the deficit in the second half, as Matheus Nunes scored in injury time to seal a 3-1 win for the hosts after goals from Otavio and Diogo Jota.

Stefan Kuntz‘s side then suffered a defeat to Italy in an International Friendly at the end of March, before taking on Faroe Islands in the first game of the new Nations League campaign on Saturday.

Looking to make a strong starts as favourites in League C1, Turkey comfortably brushed the European minnows aside as Cengiz Under put them ahead before half time and Halil Dervisoglu, Serdar Dursun and Merih Demiral hit goals to seal a dominant 4-0 victory in Istanbul.

Now with their sights set on making it two wins from two to establish themselves at the top of the group, Kuntz’s men will look to build on that thrashing and put another three-point haul on the board on Tuesday.

Lithuania Nations League form:

Lithuania form (all competitions):

Turkey Nations League form:

Turkey form (all competitions):

Team News

Turkey's Cengiz Under celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 29, 2022© Reuters

Lithuania should again line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Augustinas Klimavicius preferred over the more experienced Karolis Laukzemis up front against Luxembourg.

Young Charleroi attacking midfielder Nauris Petkevicius was given his international debut off the bench in that game and he could be in line to feature from the outset on Tuesday, with Linas Megelaitis and Vykintas Slivka likely operating in the engine room.

Hapoel Tel Aviv goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus will again play between the sticks and don the captain’s armband in his 38th international cap.

Turkey have called up a strong squad for the opening Nations League games, and they will be captained by talented Inter Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, who has netted 14 goals in 69 caps for his nation.

Further back, Leicester City’s Caglar Soyuncu should again play alongside Atalanta defender Merih Demiral at the heart of the back four.

Winger Cengiz Under added to his goals tally for the Crescent-Stars last time out after enjoying a productive season for Marseille, while Halil Dervisoglu will continue to lead the line, having scored his fifth international goal in just his 10th cap against Faroe Islands.

Lithuania possible starting lineup:
Setkus; Baravykas, Satkus, Utkus, Barauskas; Megelaitis, Slivka; Novikovas, Petkevicius, Lasickas; Klimavicius

Turkey possible starting lineup:
Cakir; Muldur, Demiral, Soyuncu, Kadioglu; Under, Tokoz, Calhanoglu, Akturkoglu; Dervisoglu, Unal

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We say: Lithuania 0-3 Turkey

Turkey will be confident of getting out of this Nations League group, particularly after Saturday’s dominant win, and we see them dishing out another thrashing in Lithuania.

The visitors’ squad is far stronger than that of their hosts and they should not run into too many troubles on Tuesday.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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