Yakin makes return as Swiss ready to end Turkey’s Euro dream

SWITZERLAND and Turkey renew rivalries tonight in a game both teams must win to keep their Euro 2008 dream alive (kick-off 7.45pm).

Turkey will be looking for revenge for their defeat to the Swiss on away goals in a 2006 World Cup play-off.

The second leg of that tie in Istanbul was marred by violent clashes after the final whistle, but injured Swiss captain Alexander Frei is adamant they will be no repeat of those scenes in Basle.

The Borussia Dortmund striker added: “The game on Wednesday will be completely different from the one in Istanbul. For me that game is already forgotten. I said that before the Euros.

“For those who were directly affected the events are certainly still in their heads, but for the younger players it is just not an issue.

“The younger players have already come so far that they don’t need any advice from an old man like me. For Hakan Yakin, who will play, it will certainly be very special. Therefore he also doesn’t need any advice. He will be motivated enough.”

Yakin, who has Turkish ancestry, is likely to replace Frei in the starting line-up, with Ludovic Magnin inheriting the captain’s armband.

Turkey will also be looking to bounce back from a defeat after losing to Group A favourites Portugal in their first match. And midfielder Hamit Altintop said: “We Turks have very high expectations. That we absolutely want to and have to win on Wednesday is clear. The home advantage of the Swiss could also be a disadvantage.

“The pressure for the home team can increase quickly if it does not go to plan. You saw that with the 1-0 loss to the Czechs.”

Turkey, World Cup semi-finalists in 2002, never looked like causing an upset against Portugal and Altintop knows they have to up their game if they are to make it to the last eight.

The Bayern Munich man added: “Perhaps we afforded the Portuguese too much respect. We were too nervous. But we have now got rid of these feelings. That won’t happen to us again.

“Our fans and us expect a reaction. In the first game we offered too little, that is clear. It will have be different (against Switzerland).”

Turkey have been dealt a blow after losing Emre to injury. The midfielder pulled up with a hamstring problem during training yesterday.

“Emre is not going to play tomorrow,” said Turkey coach Fatih Terim. Terim will also be without defender Gokhan Zan, while Servet Cetin is a doubt.


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