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‘Did not want to take any risks’ – Turkey coach explains Arda Guler benching vs Portugal

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Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images

After a dominating 3-0 win in the first match, Turkey will look to consolidate their position on top of Group F as they take on Portugal.

However, Turkey will approach this game without the services of Arda Guler, at least as far as the starting eleven is concerned.

The Real Madrid playmaker has been predictably left out of the starting eleven after Vincenzo Montella confirmed he was struggling with fatigue, shortly after the Georgia game.

Montella on Guler’s exclusion

Even though Guler is not starting against Portugal, his presence on the bench has led many to believe he can appear in the second half.

However, Turkish head coach Montella has offered a rather grim outlook on Guler’s fitness, suggesting that he might not be fit to appear in the second half.

The Italian tactician also explained why Guler was left out of the starting eleven.

“We talked to Arda and the doctor, he was tired. We did not want to take any risks, I hope with all my heart that we will not need him in the second half,” he said (h/t Sporx).

Arda Guler may not feature against Portugal at all (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Montella’s statement hints Guler might not be able to feature against Portugal, even in the second half.

This could prove to be a massive blow for the Turks, as Guler is arguably one of their greatest threats going forward. His absence could thus significantly weaken the attacking line for Montella’s men.

Turkey, though, will be hoping Guler returns to full fitness by the time they take on Czechia on Wednesday, in what will be their last group game.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid trailing Premier League heavyweights in UEFA club rankings

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Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images

UEFA has announced its latest club rankings, based on the performance of each team in European competitions over the last five seasons, and despite winning the Champions League last season, Real Madrid trail Manchester City in these standings. 

It must be noted that the coefficients of these rankings are calculated purely on the basis of results in European competitions, without considering domestic league performance. The rankings are crucial as they determine the seedings in UEFA competition draws.

Top teams in UEFA rankings

This time, Manchester City haves outshone Real Madrid, topping the list with a coefficient of 123,000 points, while Real Madrid have 119,000 points. Bayern Munich complete the top three with a score of 108,000 points. 

Man City have been incredibly consistent since 2021, securing a Champions League title, reaching a final, and making it to a semi-final, which has propelled them to the top spot in the rankings.

Manchester City are above Real Madrid in UEFA club rankings. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The competition between Manchester City and Real Madrid has been intense, especially in the Champions League. The two giants of European football have faced each other in four knockout ties since 2020, each winning two ties. 

Their consistent performances have solidified their status as the current powerhouses of European football.

What about the other La Liga teams?

Spanish football, particularly La Liga, is well-represented in these rankings. Alongside Real Madrid, Villarreal, Atletico Madrid, and Barcelona are notable mentions. 

Villarreal, on their part, are in the 7th place after winning the Europa League in 2021 and reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2022. 

Atletico Madrid are positioned at 17th, just ahead of Barcelona, who is struggling to maintain its usual high ranking. 

Amidst all this, the English Premier League stands out as the dominant force in these rankings. Six of its teams are in the top 20, showcasing the strength and competitiveness of English football. 

The Italian League and the Bundesliga also have a strong presence, each contributing four teams to the top ranks.

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