Finland vs Ukraine Preview 09/10/2021

Alizada Studios /

Finland and Ukraine will return to World Cup qualifying action when they go head-to-head in Helsinki on Saturday.

The two sides are locked on five points in Group D – seven points behind first-place France and two points clear of both Bosnia & Herzegovina and Kazakhstan.

Syyssade ropisee ja Huuhkajat treenaa Leppävaarassa 🦉☔️ #Huuhkajat #MeOlemmeSuomi

— Huuhkajat (@Huuhkajat) October 5, 2021

Ukraine currently sit ahead of Finland on goal difference, although Finland have a gamed in hand over the Ukrainians.

Finland have managed to win just one of their four qualifiers this campaign, recording two draws and one loss in the process.

They have also netted four goals in as many games, meaning they are currently the lowest scorers in Group D.

Despite beating Demark at this summer’s European Championship, Finland failed to make it to the knockout phase.

Since then, they have registered a win over Kazakhstan, a goalless draw with Wales and a defeat to France last time out.

It is also worth pointing out that each of Finland’s previous eight matches in all competitions have produced under 2.5 goals.

Ukraine, on the other hand, made it all the way the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 before suffering a 4-0 hammering at the hands of England.

Since the European Championship, the Ukrainians have recorded three consecutive draws – holding Kazakhstan, France and the Czech Republic.

Remarkably, Ukraine have drawn all five of their World Cup qualifiers this campaign. Although they have yet to win a game, they haven’t tasted defeat either.

In contrast to Finland’s recent games, Ukraine have dished up a series of high-scoring encounters of all late.

In fact, each of their last five matches have produced over 1.5 goals, with two of those dishing up over 3.5 goals.

Head-to-head: The two sides played out a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in Ukraine back in March. Junior Moraes put the hosts ahead on 80 minutes before Teemu Pukki equalised on 89.

Overall, the nations have faced other on three occasions. Ukraine remain unbeaten in this fixture, having picked up two wins and a draw.

Team news: Major League Soccer trio Niko Hamalainen, Jukka Raitala and Robin Lod are included in Finland’s squad, along with Scottish Premiership duo Juhani Ojala and Ilmari Niskanen.

As for Ukraine, they could hand first caps to goalkeeper Dmytro Riznyk and midfielder Oleksandr Pikhalyonok.

Given that Ukraine have drawn all five of their World Cup qualifiers this campaign, another tight game is on the cards this weekend. predicts that Ukraine will pick up a sixth straight WCQ draw on Saturday, holding Finland to a low-scoring tie.

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