Prediction & odds for the game: Finland (23/10) v Wales (13/10)
When: Thursday, 3rd September @ 7.45pm K.O
Where: Helsinki Olympic Stadium
Finland and Wales will continue their road to UEFA Euro 2021 when the two rising forces meet in the UEFA Nations League this week.
Finland are heading into their first ever Euros next year, and they’re doing so off the back of an incredible series of performances in Group J. They’ve got a collection of really intriguing stars that are hungry for success, and while a Denmark-esque underdog story seems unlikely, you never can truly count them out. They’re capable of pushing any team to the limit, and they’ll be eager to prove that throughout the course of the new Nations League campaign.
Back in September, Finland took another big step towards qualification with a narrow 1-0 win over Greece. Things went south in their next two games as they were beaten by Italy and Bosnia & Herzegovina, but their moment in the sunshine finally came with back-to-back victories against Armenia and Liechtenstein. They did lose the reverse fixture to Greece, but it didn’t matter in the end.
The Gareth Bale-led Welsh national team will come into the Euros knowing that they face an uphill challenge if they want to go one better than their semi-final outing in the 2016 tournament. They’re starting to build a squad that has a great base both at the back and up top, and that kind of balance is what they’ll need to make another run towards the later stages of the knockouts – and the Nations League could be important for them to build some confidence.
It’s been one hell of a run since last September for Wales, starting with back-to-back wins over Azerbaijan and Belarus. They drew 1-1 against Slovakia and Croatia, but success soon fell in their lap once more last November with 2-0 wins over Azerbaijan and Hungary.
International football hasn’t exactly been at the top of the priority list for the majority of 2020, and with the new domestic season being right around the corner, we think this is going to be a pretty tense affair. Defensive issues are bound to occur with there being a real lack of cohesion between the squads, but in the end, we actually think Finland are the ones who will edge out the win. It won’t be the most important win they’ve ever had, but it’ll be great for their morale.
We’re predicting a 2-1 win, which will ensure we hit the over 2.5 goals market. It probably isn’t going to be the most technically sound game of the international break, but such is the problem that comes with having such an early string of international fixtures to play before the start of a new season.
Verdict: Back the home win at odds of 23/10 and the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 11/8 (All odds are taken from bet365).