UEFA Euro 2020 – Finland Team Preview

Pukki party for EURO debutantes?

Joel Pohjanpalo / Finland ©IMAGO / Vitalii Kliuiev March 28, 2021

Finland FINLAND Finland

EURO 2020 QUALIFYING: W6 D0 L4 (GF16 GA10)

Alongside North Macedonia, Finland are among two nations debuting at these European Championship finals after surprisingly claiming a runners-up berth during the group stage of qualification. The Eagle-Owls picked up 18 points from their ten qualifiers, finishing a distant second to Italy but pipping more fancied nations in Armenia, Bosnia and former European champions Greece to qualification.

At the forefront of this success is head coach Markku Kanerva. However, some may argue a greater debt of gratitude is owed to star striker Teemu Pukki. The Norwich man has established a reputation since arriving in England in 2018 for being ice cold in front of goal, netting 67 times across the last three campaigns. The 31 year old accounted for 10 (62%) of the Finns’ 16 strikes on route to these finals.

Only three players notched more often during qualification than Pukki. Two of whom, Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo, led the way for goals scored in the English and Italian top-flights last term. However, despite keeping pace with – and in many cases outdoing – some of the continent’s revered scoring talents, the 31-year-old is considered an unlikely recipient of Euro 2020’s Golden Boot, at 100/1 (Betfair).

UEFA Euro 2020 Betting at Betfair


Euro 2020 Fixtures – Group B

12 June Vs Denmark in Copenhagen Denmark

16 June Vs Russia in Saint Petersburg Russian Federation

21 June Vs Belgium in Saint Petersburg Russian Federation

The draw for the group stage fell favourably. Consequently, the Scandinavians will be bullish about their chances of challenging for second and third in a section many expect Belgium to dominate. Remember, the four best third-place finishers qualify for the next round. Denmark (10) and Russia (38) rank higher in FIFA’s rankings. Both, however, gained entry the same way as the Finns: as group stage runners-up.

The schedule could also work to Finland’s advantage. Should Belgium claim maximum points from their opening two assignments – as many expect them to do – then a place in the next round may already be assured for the Red Devils. Thus all but ensuring a weaker side for that final encounter against the Finns. By which time, the latter will hope to have built up momentum against the Danes and Russia.


Finland To Qualify in Group B



Key Player – Pukki the star but Kamara could shine?

Rangers’ Glen Kamara has developed into an accomplished ball-playing midfielder under the stewardship of Steven Gerrard, who was himself a top-class performer in the centre of the pitch during his playing days with Liverpool. Household names are few and far between though. Lukas Hradecky has been a dependable presence between the sticks in Germany for Bayer Leverkusen and recorded six clean sheets in qualifying.

Teemu Pukki remains the standout player among their ranks. An honourable mention, however, goes to Robin Lob. The midfielder, currently plying his trade in America with Minnesota United, laid on a team-leading three assists during qualifying. Moreover, only Belgium’s Eden Hazard completed more successful dribbles during qualification than his 27. This ability to evade trouble will be invaluable.

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Finland Best Bets

A tally of 16 goals in 10 qualifiers (1.6 per game) is extremely modest in comparison to their Group B rivals. For context, Denmark represented the least potent of this trio at 2.9 per game. However, the Finns have now scored in their past seven competitive internationals (excluding friendlies), including in a shock 2-0 win over reigning world champions France in Paris last November. Soon to be facing more adept attacks, odds of 10/1 (Betway) about Both Teams to Score in all three Finland group matches appeals.


Euro 2020 Key Facts – Finland

  • There are only two nations at these finals competing in their first European Championship, of which Finland – who qualified with six wins from ten qualifiers – are one.
  • Preparations haven’t exactly gone smoothly though. Finland are winless in six (D2 L4) heading into the tournament, though did beat 2018 World Cup winners France in Paris last November.
  • Teemu Pukki top scored during Euro 2020 qualifying, finding the net 10 times in as many games. The 31-year old scored the game’s opening goal on five separate occasions.


In truth, though, the task facing Markku Kanerva and Finland is enormous. While they will fancy their chances of taking something from match-ups with Denmark and Russia, that pair still offer a great deal more experience. As such, odds of 1/2 (BetVictor) about Finland finishing bottom of the group, one in which they are the lowest ranked side, may not seem like tremendous value but could deliver a winner.