Finland and Wales meet for the first time since 2013 when they square off in Helsinki on Thursday evening (7.45pm).
Both sides head into the 2020/21 Nations League tournament in good spirits after securing their places at next summer’s European Championship.
The Eagle-owls have proven to be a tough nut to crack at home with only Italy, Ukraine and Croatia inflicting defeat on them across their last 15 home matches.
Wales have managed two wins in the Nordic country, the most recent coming in September 2002 when John Hartson and Simon Davies scored in a 2-0 win, current national team boss Ryan Giggs played the full 90 minutes on that occasion.
Where to watch Finland vs Wales on TV:
- UK: Sky Sports Main Event, S4C
- US: ESPN+, TUDNxtra 5
How to live stream Nations League: Finland vs Wales
US ONLY: Fubo* are streaming a selection of UEFA Nations League fixtures live for account holders. Those without a Fubo account already can take advantage of their seven-day free trial by following the simple steps below.
- Click on this link.
- Click ‘Start Your Free Trial’ and enter your details.
- Log in and pick your desired channel to watch.
*Geo restrictions apply. Fubo is currently available in the United States, Canada and Spain. Packages and pricing differ per country.
Finland & Wales’ previous line-ups:
- Finland (vs Greece): Joronen; Raitala*, Leo Väisänen, Toivio*, Sauli Väisänen; Lod*, Kamara, Kauko, Schüller*; Pukki, Skrabb*.
- Wales (vs Hungary): Hennessey; Roberts, Mepham*, Lockyer, Davies; Allen*, Morrell; Bale, Ramsey*, James; Moore.
No fewer than five starters in Finland’s narrow loss to Greece will not face Wales as they’ve not been selected. Jukka Raitala, Joona Toivio, Robin Lod, Rasmus Schüller and Simon Skrabb all sit out the visit of Ryan Giggs’ men.
Aaron Ramsey recently pulled out of the Wales squad named to face the Finns; he’s one of three players — including Joe Allen — who lined up in the Dragons most recent starting XI that will not feature this weekend. Ashley Williams, David Brooks and Tyler Roberts have also withdrawn from the squad, with Ben Woodburn and Brennan Johnson added.
Players to watch:
- Finland: They will still be on cloud nine after ending their long wait to feature at a major international tournament, qualifying for Euro 2020. Before enjoying next summer’s tournament, the Nordic nation must navigate through these Nations League games starting with fellow Euro 2020 participants Wales, who are very familiar with many of those in Markku Kanerva’s squad, most notably their leading marksman Teemu Pukki especially after his Premier League heroics last term. The 30-year-old striker goes into this game in a rich vein of form internationally having scored across seven of Finland’s last eight games, although he suffered a drought towards the end of the 2019/20 Premier League season with Norwich City.
- Wales: After many years in the wilderness there’s no denying Wales are now comfortable on the international stage. The Dragons are preparing for a second major tournament appearance, but in the meantime will fancy their chances of making a splash in this competition, and why not when they can call upon Gareth Bale who is certainly fresh and hungry after his season with Real Madrid ended on a quiet note. The good news for manager Giggs is whenever Bale puts the Welsh jersey on he more often than not delivers and is currently their all-time leading scorer having bagged 33 goals across 83 games.