Finland vs Slovenia Preview
As the Euro 2024 qualifications match is online, Finland vs Slovenia preview as they clash on the Helsingin Olympiastadion on Friday meaning.
After viewing 100% record of the two matches, Slovenia find themselves at the summit of group H- three points clearing finland, Denmark, Kazakhstan and Northern Ireland.
It’s fair to say that Finland’s qualifying campaign did not get best starts, as the Eagle-Owls suffered a 3-1 defeat to Denmark in March, with highly rated Atlanta youngster Rasmus Hojlund netting a hat-trick. However, Markku kanerva’s men bounced back three days later, claiming a 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland at Windsor park, with Benjamin Kaliman scoring the decisive goal Midway through the first half.
That victory ended a five-game winless run for Finland, who recorded two draws and two losses in four friendlies before falling to Denmark, drawing with North Macedonia and Norway in November before losing to Sweden and Estonia in January.
When you look at the bigger picture, the Nordic outfit have only managed to win three of their previous 15 matches across all competitions, scoring more than one goal on just three occasions during that period. Finland’s first-ever appearance in a major tournament came two years ago at Euro 2020, and the Eagle-Owls will be determined to make it back to the biggest stage in European international football.
Team News and Injury
Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky will earn his 84th international cap when he lines up between the sticks for Finland on Friday.
At the opposite end of the pitch, Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki will aim to enhance his international record of 37 goals in 110 appearances, with Benjamin Kallman expected to partner Pukki in attack.
Rangers’ Glen Kamara and Djurgardens IF’s Rasmus Schuller look set to operate in Finland’s engine room, while Richard Jensen and Nikolai Alho should occupy the full-back roles for the hosts.
As for the visitors, RB Leipzig-bound Benjamin Sesko will start in attack as the exciting 20-year-old aims to build on his record of six goals in 19 games for his country. Speaking about Leipzig, they had lost the match with Manchester city with 7-0 in the quarter finals of the champions league.
Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer had moved on to Bayern Munich on free tranfer upto 2027. With Atletico Madrid stopper Jan Oblak continuing to recover from injury, Vid Belec is expected to start in goal for Slovenia, while Jaka Bijol and David Brekalo will likely begin at centre-back.
On the flip side, Slovenia could barely have wished for a better start to their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign, as they head into the third round of fixtures with a three-point lead over the four teams below, and a six-point lead over minnows San Marino.
After coming from behind to secure a deserved 2-1 victory over Kazakhstan, Matjaz Kek’s men claimed a comfortable 2-0 win against San Marino, racking up 77% possession and 25 shots while limiting the visitors to a solitary attempt.
Thanks to friendly victories over Romania and Montenegro back in November, the Slovenians carry a four-game winning streak to Helsinki, having scored two goals on three occasions during that sequence.
Better still, Slovenia have avoided defeat in each of their last eight matches across all competitions, finishing their Nations League campaign with a four-game unbeaten run before sealing four successive victories.
Having lost only two of their previous 14 outings picking up six wins and six draws along the way Slovenia will be confident of notching another positive result against Finland.
This is the third meeting between the two teams, with their first coming in April 1999, where the spoils were shared in a 1-1 draw.
Both sides locked horns in a friendly at the Veritas Stadion in August 2013, with Finland winning 2-0 away.
Slovenia are on a four-game winning streak and are unbeaten in eight outings since a 4-1 loss to Serbia in June.
Finland are winless in seven of their last eight home games, losing four since September 2021.
Finland vs Slovenia Prediction
While Finland and Slovenia are closely matched, the visitors have put together a solid run and are the more in-form side. Finland have some home advantage in the match. They would have a fine victory over Slovenia.