Best Odds: 4/7
The UEFA Euro 2020 qualification period continues, with countries up and down the continent attempting to force their way into the mix. The game that we’re going to take a look at today will be contested by Finland and Italy, which should be a fairly entertaining showdown. It isn’t a fixture that we’ve seen all too often over the years, but in their last meeting back in March, Italy were able to ease towards a 2-0 win – but you just know that Finland will be ready for the rematch, with a win for the underdogs giving them a huge chance of securing qualification for next summer’s big tournament.
The Finnish national team aren’t particularly well known for being a force in European football, or international football as a whole. They’ve had a few star names that have pulled on the famous white and blue colours over the years, but in terms of having a structured squad, they’ve never been able to compete with the very best of them. Now that they’ve built up some momentum for themselves in qualifying, perhaps there’s a chance that can change.
Teemu Pukki is the man that the Italians really need to be afraid of, as he continues to hit top form with both club and country. Sparv will be one of the first names on the team sheet in the middle of the park.
After the disappointment of not featuring in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, many fans and pundits have considered Euro 2020 qualification as an absolute necessity for the Italians if they want to still be known as one of the best national sides in European football. The multiple time world champions have let themselves down time and time again over the course of the last decade or so, with their 2006 World Cup triumph being nothing but a distant memory for them now.
Andrea Belotti will be viewed as the main man for the Italians up top, with Romagnoli & Bonucci serving as the dynamic centre-back partnership for the visitors. Donnarumma will feature in goal.
Factors to Consider
- In their 13 encounters in international football, Italy have never been beaten by Finland.
- Italy have won all five of their games in Euro 2020 qualifying.
- Finland have won four and lost one of their games in Euro 2020 qualifying.
- Italy has scored 16 goals and conceded two in qualifying.
- Finland has scored seven goals and conceded two in qualifying.
Finland are going to be ready for war and that’s exactly what we’re expecting to see when they square off with the Italians this weekend. Italy’s rise back to prominence has been greatly exaggerated, and it still feels like they’re a few steps off the pace of the truly elite sides in Europe. We can picture them letting their guard down, leading to Finland forcing a draw. Either way, it should be a pretty entertaining clash with plenty of goals for the neutrals to enjoy.
Best Odds: 4/7
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