2020-21 UEFA Nations League: Finland vs Republic of Ireland

Republic of Ireland face a must-win match to keep themselves on course to challenge for promotion from UEFA Nations League B as they head to Helsinki to face Finland. 

Finland could go top with victory if they better Wales’ result whilst a win would keep Ireland within a shot of promotion to Nations League A, plus move them four points clear of relegation if Bulgaria lose to Wales.

Team News

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Finland will be without the injured trio of Thomas Lam, Lassi Lappalainen and Jasse Tuominen after all three failed to feature in Sunday’s win over Bulgaria.

Republic of Ireland will have Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah available after the duo missed matches against Slovakia and Wales due to self-isolating, having come into contact with someone who initially tested positive before it was confirmed as a false positive test on Sunday.

Ireland manager, Stephen Kenny has however called up four new players in Dara O’Shea, Jason Knight, Ryan Manning and Ronan Curtis, replacing John Egan, Callum Robinson, Callum O’Dowda and Alan Browne after the quartet were withdrawn from Sunday’s goalless draw due to a positive test for an unnamed player.

James McClean is suspended after being sent off at the weekend for a foul on Ethan Ampadu.

 

Stat Attack

  • Finland have won just one of six previous meetings against Republic of Ireland in all competitions (W1, D2, L3).
  • Republic of Ireland are unbeaten in their two previous visits to Finland in all competitions (W1, D1)
  • Hans Jensen has scored in each of Finland’s last two competitive matches.

 

Prediction

Finland really had to work for Sunday’s two goal win over Bulgaria but given their record in this fixture, they are going to have to raise their performance another notch and not rely on sloppy mistakes which fell their way in terms of how they scored their goals last time out

Ireland meanwhile bounced back from their Euro 2020 Qualifying Play-Offs exit with a strong performance against Wales but could of been much tidier and sharper with some of their shots, especially Robbie Brady and Daryl Horgan who possibly could of played their shots cleverer in the box.

This therefore should be a good battle because Finland are a much improved team whereas Ireland’s 4-3-3 formation worked brilliantly against Wales in terms of attack and pace, so if they can keep that formation and inject some sharp finishing, they should take the win.

Prediction: Finland 1-2 ROI

Result: Finland 1-0 ROI

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