Hiddink implements Turkish changes
Guus Hiddink will unveil a new-look Turkey side in tomorrow's friendly against former side Korea Republic. Hiddink was bitterly disappointed with his team's display in losing to Azerbaijan last October, branding it "a complete disaster", and has overhauled his squad accordingly.
Uncapped pair Mehmet Ekici and Tunay Torun should get their chance among a number of young players Hiddink wants to bring in. He is also phasing out veterans like Nihat Kahveci, Mehmet Aurelio, Tuncay Sanli and Semih Senturk, turning over more responsibility to Hamit Altintop, Nuri Sahin, Serder Kesimal, Umut Bulut and Burak Yilmaz.
Having lost vital ground in the qualification battle, Hiddink needs his overhaul to be bearing fruit by the time they face Austria in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier on 29 March, making tomorrow night a vital testing ground.
"I don't think [leaders] Germany will drop many points in their remaining games," Hiddink said on uefa.com. "Our direct rivals will be Austria and Belgium. From now on, we'll battle for second place."
Another one of Hiddink's former teams, Russia, have an unusual assignment as they head to Abu Dhabi to take on Iran at Zayed Sports City. Iran suffered disappointment at last month's AFC Asian Cup, but Russia hope they can still provide good preparation for their upcoming qualifier against Armenia.
Greece hosts Canada with coach Fernando Santos sticking with veterans like Giorgos Karagounis and Nikos Lyberopoulos. Santos wants the likes of 102-times capped Karagounis and 35-year-old Lyberopoulos around to help youngsters Costas Mitroglou and Dimitris Siovas find their feet.
Elsewhere, Croatia host the Czech Republic, Belgium take on Finland, and Norway travel to Poland.