Finland and Belgium will clash at Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg for their final group match. Having already secured a top seed for the EURO 2020 knockout stage, Belgium shouldn’t be too concerned with winning, which should give Finland a chance to finalise their incredible run with at least a point.
Finland vs Belgium
When: Monday, June 21 – 22:00 MSK
Where: Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 24°C
Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
Finland have done well enough to sit in third, which opens up the opportunity for the Scandinavian nation to advance into the knockout stage. A win today would set them up for six points, which would tie them with Russia if the latter end up beating Denmark.
Belgium, on the other side, don’t need to worry about the outcome of today’s bout. They’re at six points with a 5-1 goal difference, which guarantees them a spot in the EURO 2020 knockout stage as Group B top seed.
Belgium Could Make Changes
Having already secured a spot in the EURO 2020 knockout stage, Belgium might want to make several changes to their starting XI and give their key players a chance to rest. Kevin De Bruyne, who has recently recovered from his injury, might get a bit more playtime after missing his side’s thrashing of Russia in their tournament opener.
In an interview ahead of today’s bout, Belgian boss Roberto Martinez made it clear that he might want to look towards Axel Witsel and Eden Hazard, who haven’t had much chance to get in the competitive rhythm. Both are likely to feature to get fit ahead of the knockout stage.
Red Devils will likely get reinforced by some younger legs for tonight’s match as well. While it’s unclear what Belgium’s starting XI will look like, it will likely look much different from how it did last week.
Defence Is The Key
Finland might not want to make any changes to their lineup, as they need all the manpower they can have to upset the fiery Belgians. With their win against Denmark (1-0) and a painful 0-1 loss to Russia, Finland now sit second in Group B with a 1-1 goal difference.
Their current record is good enough for the Finns to be one of the top-rated third-placed teams. Ahead of today’s bout, they’re tied in points with Austria and Portugal and a point ahead of Spain, who have managed only two draws.
A win today would be enough for Finland to make it through into the next stage, however, that’s an unlikely outcome. Instead, the Eagle-owls might want to force a draw, which would be just as helpful in completing their miracle run.
That will likely be the strategy Markku Kanerva will look for, as his side have proven to be very sturdy in the back. A draw won’t come easy, but it’s surely one of the outcomes that Finland can count on.
Belgium vs Finland Betting Picks
Although Finland aren’t in the clear yet, they’re all but guaranteed to advance into the knockout stage. The only scenario where that doesn’t happen is if they suffer a heavy defeat this evening, which further confirms Kanerva will get his men ready for an ultra-defensive approach.
Keeping Belgium at bay won’t be easy, but with the expected changes in the Red Devils’ lineup, avoiding a heavy defeat should be the main focus of the Eagle-owls. A 1-0 or 2-0 victory for Belgium seems likely, but we don’t expect many more goals today.
Prediction: Under 2.5 goals – 1.92 at Sportmarket
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