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Euro 08: Turkey has to be Prepared against Switzerland

   
SportsTurkey has a little margin for error going into the Group A game in Basel because, like the Swiss, they were beaten in their opening match. Only four days after kicking off Euro 2008, co-hosts Switzerland could be out of the competition after their second match against Turkey on Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. Switzerland lost 1-0 to Czech Republic on Saturday, the same day as Turkey went down 2-0 to Portugal.

If the Czechs and Portuguese draw at the Stade de Geneve (5 pm British time) on Wednesday and there is a win for either team at St Jakob Park, whoever loses will be out. With their captain and all-time record scorer Alex Frei out with a knee ligament injury, the Swiss will rely heavily on three players with Turkish passports to keep their interests alive, defensive midfielder Gokhan Inler, playmaker Hakan Yakin and striker Eren Derdiyok.

Wednesday's match is the first between the two countries since Turkey beat Switzerland 4-2 in Istanbul in November 2005 in the second leg of their World Cup qualifying playoff.

Despite the victory, Turkey was eliminated on the away goals rule and players from both sides reacted violently after the game, incurring severe sanctions from world soccer's governing body FIFA. The teams have played down the significance of that game on Wednesday's match but there will be increased security to try to prevent trouble among the fans.

While Saturday's two losing teams will be battling to gain their first points, Portugal and Czech Republic are hoping to secure their places in the last eight. Their only previous meeting in the championship came in England 12 years ago when Karel Poborsky gave the Czechs a 1-0 quarter-final triumph on their way to the final against eventual winners Germany. If there is a winner in Geneva and the match in Basel ends all-square, the victorious team will reach the last eight with a game to spare.
  

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