Euro 2020 Finland vs Russia Prediction
After quite the historic first match for Finland, the Finns will look to continue their success with another contest against Russia, in their Euro 2020 match-up. A win here could put them in a fantastic spot and almost guarantee them a top-two finish in Group B. Russia will be hosting them in Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg, so the away support will not be as plentiful as it was in Copenhagen.
Russia needs to bounce back after quite the convincing defeat to Belgium, where they found themselves quickly down 2-0, and another goal late in the game was the cherry on top for Russia to start their Euro 2020 campaign in a bad spot.
Euro 2020: Finland’s Ways to Win
The Finns pulled a win out of a game that felt wrong on all factors as it restarted only a short while after Christian Eriksen collapsed, and the game was abandoned for a medical emergency. With that said, the result still stands, and a header from Joel Pohjanpalo catapulted the Finns into second place.
Finland needs to do the monumental task of shaking the feeling of what happened against Denmark, but beating Denmark was already more than anybody expected. Another matchup against Russia, which is not a bad side, will be the test. In order to win, Finland needs to finish their attacks more consistently. Russia is not the paciest side in the world, but they are physical and will get in the way well. They are quite good at making themselves known in the run of play.
Finland needs to bounce with the physicality and work to have consistent end products on goal. Shoot often and shoot well. It’s overly simple, but the game of soccer just requires you to put the ball in the net.
Euro 2020: Russia’s Ways to Win
Russia had a pretty terrible result that was expected. Belgium is the tournament favorite. With that said, Russia was moving sluggishly and could get nothing started in attack. They are mostly healthy, though, so they should be able to come out with a similar lineup and none of the first match jitters. Zhirkov will be missing for the rest of the tournament, so it’s possible Russia reverts to a back three.
Russia’s biggest weakness against Belgium, besides the holes in their backline, was their inability to really get numbers forward on counter-attacks. They would get the ball up to the flank, but they are not especially fast and skillful in one on one situations. Russia needs runners following and heading in behind to create overloads and force the Finland defenders to communicate and make decisions.
Euro 2020: Finland vs Russia Prediction
Russia has never lost a game against Finland, but they are winless in their last six European Championship games. On paper, Russia is the better side. And, it’s hard to judge a team for their performance against such a dominant Belgian team. Although one of these teams has a win and one of them doesn’t, it should be a very close match.
This could go either way, but predicting a draw brings me no joy. This game is surely a low-scoring toss-up. For the sake of believing in the debutants of the Euros, Finland will pull away with a second goal late in the game away in Russia to pull off a stunning upset.
Prediction: Finland 2, Russia 1