The UEFA Nations League starts this week, with Finland vs Wales being one of the two opening fixtures of League B Group 4, which also features the Republic of Ireland and Bulgaria. The best odds offered by the bookies for the match are Finland 11/5 (3.40), Wales 6/4 (2.50), and the draw 11/5 (3.20). But this is expected to be a tight game, and less than 2.5 goals is our Finland vs Wales tip.
Both teams did well to qualify for Euro 2020 (now Euro 2021) and they will see this group as a great chance to elevate themselves to the A-groups for the next installment of the Nations League.
The Finns also topped Nations League C2 last time, and they’re now up to 58 in the FIFA World Rankings after also qualifying for Euro 2021 by finishing second behind Italy. They won 60% of their games to qualify but have lost three of their last five coming into this match.
Finland have some exciting players, including the BayerLeverkusen pair of Pohjanpalo and Hradecky. There’s also Glen Kamara of Rangers. But it’s Teemu Pukki that normally scores the goals, and he finished the Premier League season lacking confidence.
There is also plenty of talent in the Welsh squad, with Ryan Giggs able to call upon Manchester United winger David James.
Liverpool’s Ben Woodburn, Neco Williams, and Harry Wilson, as well as Ethan Amapdu of Chelsea are also available.
But while Wales are ranked 23rd in the world, Giggs must do without the likes of Ashley Williams, Tyler Roberts, and David Brooks, while Aaron Ramsey will be sorely missed. Giggs must also be wondering what Gareth Bale will bring to the table, with the Welsh star having fallen out of favour at Real Madrid.
That means Wales may find it tough to break down Finland’s defence, which has been the foundation for much of the Finn’s recent success. That was especially true of their last Nations League campaign, in which they kept clean sheets in all their home games.
Wales have also based much of their success on a solid defence and may look to do so again with their attacking talents potentially limited.
As both teams look likely to adopt defence-minded tactics from the off, and with the main attacking talents of both sides lacking confidence at the moment, less than 2.5 goals has to be our Finland vs Wales tip.
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