Greece hits the road and takes on Finland on September 6, 2019, as the Group J competition of the Euro 2020 qualifiers heads to Tampere Stadium in Tampere, Finland.

“Soccer" Finland

Finland currently ranks 2nd in Group J with a total of 9 points earned from three wins and a solitary defeat. Finland was blanked 0-2 by Italy during their Euro 2020 qualifiers opener but they have since bounced back with three straight victories over Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Liechtenstein. They won those three matches with an aggregate score of 6-0.

Finland has never played in the FIFA World Cup nor the UEFA European Championship. During the first-ever UEFA Nations League, Finland was placed in Group 1 of League C, the third division of the league. They topped the group with 4 wins and 2 losses while earning promotion to League B next year.

This was the squad that played for Finland during their June 11, 2019 match against Liechtenstein:

  • Goalkeepers: Lukas Hradecky (vice-captain), Jesse Joronen, Anssi Jaakkola
  • Defenders: Paulus Arajuuri, Joona Toivio, Leo Vaisanen, Sauli Vaisanen, Juha Pirinen, Jere Uronen, Jukka Raitala
  • Midfielders: Robert Taylor, Glen Kamara, Robin Lod, Rasmus Schuller, Pyry Soiri, Tim Sparv (captain), Joni Kauko, Simon Skrabb, Petteri Forsell
  • Forwards: Benjamin Kallman, Rasmus Karjalainen, Teemu Pukki, Lassi Lassi Lappalainen
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“Soccer" Greece

Greece currently sits on the 4th place in Group J of the 2020 Euro qualifiers with 4 points earned. They have one win, one draw and two losses in four matches played so far. Greece blanked Liechtenstein 2-0 to open their campaign. The Greeks were held to a 2-2 draw versus Bosnia and Herzegovina before suffering back to back losses to Italy and Armenia.

Greece did not qualify for the 2016 UEFA European Championship and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. They were bracketed in Group 1 of League C at the recent UEFA Nations League along with Finland. The Greeks finished third in that group with three wins and three losses.

These are the player who suited up for Greece during their June 11, 2019 match against Armenia:

  • Goalkeepers: Odysseas Vlachodimos, Alexandros Paschalakis, Vasilis Barkas
  • Defenders: Giannis Kotsiras, Kostas Stafylidis, Kostas Manolas, Dimitris Siovas, Giorgos Valerianos, Sokratis Papastathopoulos (captain), Leonardo Koutris
  • Midfielders: Manolis Siopis, Zeca, Kostas Fortounis, Dimitris Pelkas, Dimitris Kolovos, Charis Mavrias, Petros Mantalos, Dimitris Kourbelis, Andreas Samaris, Andreas Bouchalakis
  • Forwards: Fiorin Durmishaj, Efthymis Koulouris, Tasos Bakasetas, Giorgos Masouras, Tasos Donis

“Soccer" Who Wins?

Finland heads to this match as the soccer betting underdogs. They are 3-2 SU in their last five games played. Meanwhile, Greece is 1-1-3 SU over their last five games played. Head to head, Finland and Greece have played each other in a total of 16 matches. Greece leads the all-time series with 8 wins while Finland has won 5 times and the teams ending up tied three times. Greece has lost just once in their last seven meetings, going 4-1-2 during that period which began in 1994.

Finland defeated Greece 2-0 last October in Tampere at the inaugural UEFA Nations League competition. Although the Greeks got back at them with a 1-0 triumph in Athens one month later, the first win was enough to allow Finland to win League C and earn promotion to League B in next year’s competition. That group victory also allowed Finland to earn an automatic playoff spot in case they do not move forward as one of the top two teams in the Group.

Greece meanwhile looked like they placed in a manageable Group C with only Italy as the real elites. However, Greece was forced into a tie with Bosnia and Herzegovina and lost to Armenia in their last outing. When you look at Finland’s performance in the group, the Finns defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina and Armenia both by the score of 2-0. When it comes to form, I have to side with Finland.

Greek was one of the powerhouse teams at the start of the century, going to as high as #8 in the world in 2008. But they have since slipped and have continued to slip. They are now just 52nd in the world as of the latest FIFA rankings. Meanwhile, Finland has climbed all the way to 56 in the current rankings. The Finns were as low as #110 several years ago. Prediction: Finland

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