Turkey ought to know plenty about their first visitors in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group A after crossing swords with Belgium a number of times in recent years.
• Gökhan Gönül (shoulder) and Semih Şentürk (thigh) both missed Turkey's 3-0 win against Kazakhstan on Friday and are doubtful once again. "We took a good step by beating Kazakhstan," said coach Guus Hiddink. "Maybe they are not playing the best football in the world but [Kazakhstan] are a side which can surprise you unless you concentrate well. Belgium will be harder than this game because they have a new squad containing young and promising players."
• Turkey squad
Goalkeepers: Onur Kıvrak (Trabzonspor AŞ), Sinan Bolat (Royal Standard de Liège), Cenk Gönen (Beşiktaş JK)
Defenders: Gökhan Gönül (Fenerbahçe SK), Sabri Sarıoğlu (Galatasaray AŞ), Ömer Erdoğan (Bursaspor), Servet Çetin (Galatasaray AŞ), İbrahim Toraman (Beşiktaş JK), Gökhan Zan (Galatasaray AŞ), Hakan Balta (Galatasaray AŞ), İsmail Köybaşı (Beşiktaş AŞ)
Midfielders: Hamit Altıntop (FC Bayern München), Kazım Kazım (Fenerbahçe SK), Mehmet Aurélio (Beşiktaş JK), Selçuk Şahin (Fenerbahçe SK), Emre Belözoğlu (Fenerbahçe SK), Nuri Şahin (BV Borussia Dortmund), Selçuk İnan (Trabzonspor AŞ), Arda Turan (Galatasaray AŞ), Özer Hurmacı (Fenerbahçe SK)
Forwards: Tuncay Şanlı (Stoke City FC), Semih Şentürk (Fenerbahçe SK), Sercan Yıldırım (Bursaspor), Nihat Kahveci (Beşiktaş JK), Halil Altıntop (Eintracht Frankfurt)
• Sunderland AFC goalkeeper Simon Mignolet replaces Glenn Verbauwhede having missed Belgium's opening 1-0 defeat by Germany while on Under-21 duty. "The [Germany] match could have gone either way; we had chances, they had chances," said defender Vincent Komnpany. "So it's a shame this happened. We lost as a team today, and now we have to win as a team. This was good preparation and now we have to send out a strong signal by winning in Turkey and claiming three points."
• Belgium squad
Goalkeepers: Logan Bailly (VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach), Jean-François Gillet (AS Bari), Simon Mignolet (Sunderland AFC)
Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (AFC Ajax), Laurent Ciman (R. Standard de Liège), Olivier Deschacht (RSC Anderlecht), Guillaume Gillet (RSC Anderlecht), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City FC), Daniel Van Buyten (FC Bayern München), Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal FC)
Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne (KRC Genk), Steven Defour (R. Standard de Liège), Marouane Fellaini (Everton FC), Timmy Simons (1. FC Nürnberg), Jan Vertonghen (AFC Ajax), Axel Witsel (R. Standard de Liège), Faris Haroun (KFC Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen)
Forwards: Christian Benteke (R. Standard de Liège), Eden Hazard (LOSC Lille Métropole), Romelu Lukaku (RSC Anderlecht), Kevin Mirallas (Olympiacos FC), Jelle Vossen (KRC Genk), Moussa Dembélé (Fulham FC)
• Turkey's record in nine matches against the Red Devils reads W2 D4 L3 (W0 D2 L1 at home).
• This will be the first encounter between Turkey and Belgium in a UEFA European Championship qualifier, though they did meet in the group stage of UEFA EURO 2000.
• Tournament co-hosts Belgium slipped to their second Group B defeat in that game as Hakan Şükür struck twice in a 2-0 triumph for Turkey at the Stade Roi Baudouin in Brussels on 19 June 2000. Belgium also lost goalkeeper Filip de Wilde to a late red card, while their opponents advanced to the quarter-finals.
• More recently, the rivals were drawn together in qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, facing off for the first time at the Şükrü Saracoğlu stadium in Istanbul on 10 September 2008; Emre Belözoğlu's 74th-minute penalty cancelled out Wesley Sonck's 32nd-minute opener for the visitors in a 1-1 draw.
• The Red Devils then took the points in the return game in Brussels on 10 October the following year, a pair of Emile Mpenza goals earning them a 2-0 success.
• The teams also met in qualifying for the 1998 World Cup, with Belgium winning on both occasions: they prevailed 2-1 in Brussels on 31 August 1996 and 3-1 in Istanbul on 30 April 1997.
• The highest scoring encounter between the sides was a 3-3 draw in a friendly in Genk on 24 May 2006, just over two years after Turkey recorded a 3-2 friendly win in Brussels.
• It was also in a friendly that the teams made their initial introductions, playing out a 1-1 scoreline in Ankara on 8 December 1957.
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