MX23RW : Sunday, June 20 05:37:07| >> :120:26755:26755:
Jun 4, 2021 at 5pm UK
FinlandFinland
0-1
EstoniaEstonia

Vaisanen (47')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Sappinen (59' pen.)
Puri (64'), Kait (74')

Preview: Finland vs. Estonia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's International Friendlies clash between Finland and Estonia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Finland round off their preparations for Euro 2020 with a friendly against Estonia in Helsinki on Friday.

The Eagle-Owls lost 2-0 against Sweden in their last outing, while Estonia were 1-0 winners against Lithuania.


Match preview

Finland coach Markku Kanerva on May 29, 2021© Reuters

Excitement is growing in Finland as they prepare for their first major tournament, which they achieved thanks to finishing above Greece and Bosnia-Herzegovina in qualifying.

Markku Kanerva's side's form has not been great since that qualifying campaign, though, and they are in desperate need of some momentum ahead of the finals beginning.

Defeats home and away to Wales saw them finish second in their Nations League group, and they have kicked off their World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign with successive draws.

In fact, the Eagle-Owls are now four games without a win, having also lost 3-2 to Switzerland and 2-0 to Sweden in friendlies over the past two-and-a-bit months.

Kanerva's men, without top scorer Teemu Pukki, were far too defensive against Sweden and were easily beaten by a Robin Quaison goal and Sebastian Larsson's penalty.

Estonia coach Thomas Haberli during the match on March 27, 2021© Reuters

Picking up a morale-boosting victory against Estonia is pretty imperative on Friday, then, with their tricky Group B opener against Denmark now a little over a week away.

Opponents Estonia have less to play for on the face of it after once again failing to qualify for a major competition.

Indeed, the Blueshirts finished bottom of their qualifying group with one point from eight games, albeit in a tough group that contained Germany and the Netherlands.

Estonia also finished bottom of their Nations League group, taking three points from a possible 18, and have lost their opening two World Cup qualifiers.

However, Thomas Haberli's side did end a 19-match winless run with a slender victory against Lithuania on Tuesday thanks to Henri Anier's goal just before the hour mark.

Finland form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L

Estonia form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W



Team News

Finland's Teemu Pukki celebrates scoring their second goal March 24, 2021© Reuters

Finland skipper Tim Sparv returned from a knee injury against Sweden to play his first game since March, but star striker Pukki missed out with an ankle problem.

Pukki is in a race against time to feature for his country at the Euros, and that has given Kanerva a massive headache as this side is built around the Norwich City striker.

Kanerva went with five across the back and four in midfield in the loss to Sweden, but he will surely opt for a more attack-minded XI on Friday.

Estonia are using this month's friendlies as preparation for their World Cup qualifiers against Belgium and Wales in September, either side of a friendly with Northern Ireland.

Haberli was only appointed in January and is still getting to know his side, so some changes may be made on the back of the win against Lithuania.

Finland possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Arajuuri, Ojala, O'Shaughnessy, Uronen; Valakari, Lam, Sparv, Lappalainen; Jensen, Riski

Estonia possible starting lineup:
Igonen, Tamm, Pikk, Kuusk, Paskotsi, Vassiljev, Kait, Kreida, Anier, Sappinen, Sinyavskiy


SM words green background

We say: Finland 2-0 Estonia

Finland could do with a victory to give them a bit of momentum ahead of their Euro 2020 opener against Denmark next week.

This fixture likely would have been selected with exactly that in mind, and it is difficult to see Estonia pulling off an upset against a side ranked 62 places above them.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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How you voted: Finlvs vs Estonia

Finland
86.4%
Draw
7.6%
Estonia
6.1%
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Teemu Pukki celebrates after scoring for Norwich City against Bristol City in the Championship on October 31, 2020
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