MX23RW : Tuesday, August 3 14:26:28| >> :600:2260896:2260896:
Jun 21, 2021 at 8pm UK at Saint-Petersburg Stadium
FinlandFinland
0-2
BelgiumBelgium
FT(HT: 0-0)
Hradecky (74' og.), Lukaku (81')

How Finland could line up against Belgium

How Finland could line up against Belgium
© Reuters
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at how Finland could line up for Monday's Group B clash with Belgium.

Having given a good account of themselves on their debut in the European Championship so far, rank outsiders Finland meet a formidable Belgium side in their second successive match in St Petersburg on Monday.

Level with Group B rivals Russia on three points going into the final round, Markku Kanerva's men will go through with a win, or possibly even a draw, so getting his selection right will be paramount for the former schoolteacher.

Needing to find a way of taking a point off a much-rotated Belgium side, Finland are therefore set to rely on their defensive solidity which has seen them concede just once thus far.

Kanerva has seen full-backs Nikolai Alho (ankle) and Jukka Raitala (calf) overcome injury problems in the past week, with the latter expected to keep his place on the right of what will effectively be a back five when the Eagle-owls are out of possession.

Once again, Rangers midfield dynamo Glen Kamara is joined by veteran captain Tim Sparv in a resolute Finnish engine room, which will be significantly challenged by the returning talents of Axel Witsel and Kevin De Bruyne.

Up front, meanwhile, there has been speculation that Joel Pohjanpalo - whose match-winning header against Denmark made him the first Finnish footballer to score at a major tournament - may be sacrificed from the lineup, with MLS-based Robin Lod instead given the task of supporting star striker Teemu Pukki from a deeper role.

Pukki, who scored 10 of his nation's 16 goals in qualifying, has yet to get off the mark, as it was Pohjanpalo's 10th international goal (and third in as many games) that broke the deadlock on a dramatic night in Copenhagen last week. In fact, the Union Berlin forward is the only Finn to register an international goal since March, so it would be a brave move should Kanerva consider it necessary for the greater cause.

Finland possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; O'Shaughnessy, Arajuuri, Toivio; Uronen, Kamara, Sparv, Kauko, Raitala; Pohjanpalo, Pukki

> Click here to see how Belgium could line up for Monday's Group B game

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How you voted: Finlvs vs Belgium

Finland
11.9%
Draw
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Belgium
80.2%
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina32211669
United StatesUnited States24282173
JapanJapan1961136
AustraliaAustralia1441533
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee13211852
Great BritainGreat Britain13171343
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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