Turkiye star Salih Ozcan admits his national team is facing a daunting task against Austria in the absence of Inter Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu.

The Turks enjoyed a positive start to Euro 2024, finishing second in the group behind Portugal.

They managed to prevail in an entertaining affair against Georgia in the opening fixture before falling short against Cristiano Ronaldo and company in the second match.

Nevertheless, the Anatolyans managed to win the decisive tie against the Czech Republic by two goals to one.

This allowed Turkiye to book their place in the Round of 16 against Austria. Ralf Rangnick’s men stunned the world by topping their group at the expense of France and the Netherlands.

Therefore, the Turks realize that their path to the quarter-finals won’t be easy by any means.

Moreover, they will have to do without the services of their captain and main star Calhanoglu.

The 30-year-old picked up two yellow cards in the group stage. Thus, he’ll be serving a one-match ban when the two nations clash on Tuesday in Leipzig.

Salih Ozcan Admits Turkiye Will Find It Hard Against Austria Without Hakan Calhanoglu

For his part, Ozcan acknowledges the tough mission that awaits him and his teammates in the absence of the Nerazzurri star.

“Unfortunately, Hakan Calhanoglu received his second yellow card, as did Samet Akaydin,” said the Borussia Dortmund midfielder via FcInterNews.

“It will be difficult for us. However, if everything goes according to plan, I think whoever plays in their place will give their best and help the team achieve victory,”

Calhanoglu has been a stalwart for Inter since making the controversial crosstown switch from Milan in 2021.

He has gradually transformed himself into one of the best deep-lying playmakers in Europe under Simone Inzaghi’s guidance.