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Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Talented Turks could edge key qualification clash

Poor-travelling Iceland set for more road misery

Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun scored Turkey's winner against Croatia
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Iceland's supporters had a fantastic time in France last summer but their chances of travelling to the World Cup in Russia could recede with a defeat to Turkey in Eskisehir.

Group I is one of the most competitive with four Euro 2016 finalists (Croatia, Iceland, Turkey and Ukraine) taking part.

Iceland have coped quite well since the departure of Lars Lagerback, who was half of the management team responsible for their run to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.

Heimir Halgrimsson - formerly joint-manager alongside Lagerback - has taken sole charge and led them to five wins, one draw and two defeats in a difficult group.

Iceland are second, behind leaders Croatia on goal difference and two points ahead of Turkey and Ukraine.

They would regard a draw against Turkey as a great result as it would keep the group wide open going into Monday's final match at home to basement boys Kosovo.

But four of Iceland's five victories have been at home and their vulnerability on the road was exposed last month by a 1-0 defeat to fifth-placed Finland in Tampere.

They face a tougher task against the Turks, who have recovered well from a slow start to the group.

Turkey have taken ten points from a possible 12 at home, including last month's 1-0 victory at home to Croatia.

They have a strong squad and can cope without Milan attacking midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, who serves a one-match ban.

Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun scored their only goal against Croatia and should be even more confident after playing a key role in his club's recent Champions League victories at Porto (3-1) and at home to Leipzig (2-0).

Turkish club football seems to be on the up and the national team can maintain their chance of reaching a World Cup finals for the first time since 2002.

Costa Rica need just one more point to reach Russia 2018 but look solid odds-on favourites to bank all three in their home match with Honduras.

Los Ticos are unbeaten in their last five qualifiers and can deal a major blow to fifth-placed Honduras, who have the worst defensive record (16 goals conceded) in the Concacaf group.

Recommendations
Turkey
2pts Evs Betfred
Costa Rica
1pt 4-5 bet365, Boyles, Hills


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Honduras have the worst defensive record in the Concacaf group
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