Finland – Russia | 16/06/2021 EURO

Finland will aim to carry the momentum forward from their bittersweet win over Denmark when they travel to the Krestovsky Stadium to take on Russia on matchday two of Euro 2020 Group B. Markku Kanerva’s side secured a 1-0 win over their Scandinavian neighbours on a day where football came second, while Russia’s first game of the tournament ended in a comprehensive 3-0 loss to Belgium.

Finland ended a run of six without a win (D2, L4) to claim three points over Denmark in their UEFA European Championship (Euros) debut, albeit in unwelcome circumstances after Christian Eriksen was taken seriously ill during the match. A win here would all but assure progression to the knock-outs – continuing a trend seen in 2016 that saw four of five debutants progress from the group stage. Furthermore, all nine nations who won in the opening round of fixtures in the last edition qualified via a top-two spot.

With Belgium their last opponents in the group stage, the ‘Eagle-owls’ will be desperate to get the job done against Russia, but their H2H record isn’t inspiring having lost the last four meetings and conceding over 2.5 goals in each. However, Finland will have hope given the gap in quality has closed enormously since their last meeting in 2009, exemplified by 74 FIFA World Ranking spots between them ten years ago (FIN: #86, RUS: #12) to just 16 now (FIN: #54, RUS: #38).

Russia’s unsurprising defeat to group favourites Belgium doesn’t change the picture too significantly for them. Perhaps worryingly, only three teams have lost their group opener and progressed in the last two tournaments (only one since the format change); each won both remaining games – a not impossible task for Russia.

On home soil once again, Russia will be hoping to resurrect some of their 2018 World Cup form which saw them progress to the quarter-finals before losing to eventual finalist Croatia on penalties. That strong home form has continued to this day, with just two competitive defeats, each to Belgium, since (W7, D3).


Date: 16/06/2021
Time: 16:00
Venue: Gazprom Arena (Saint Petersburg)
Pick for this match:
“2” – @1.70 ( Betway )

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