The central match of the youth World Hockey Championship group stage in quartet "A" kicks off at 13:30 GMT. International hockey aficionados are looking forward to a classic European showdown between Sweden and Finland.
The team of Sweden's hockey players left the previous Youth World Championship bereft of medals. The yellow-blues suffered an overtime defeat in the third-place match against rivals from the USA. Meanwhile, on their home turf, they are performing steadfast and successfully, snatching points and victories in all matches. Sweden's first match of the tournament was against Latvia, a warm-up on a team that runs a risk of losing their elite division status. Then, on a high, Sweden approached the match with Germany, who had earlier managed to defeat Finland. The World Championship hosts breezed through the German match, scoring 5 goals and securing a second consecutive victory. Their third winning match in the tournament was more hard-earned than the previous two. Canadian players "on paper" appeared stronger, but as the tournament hosts, Sweden was obligated to succeed for their loyal fans. The reigning world champions surrendered to Sweden with a 2:0 scoreline. Only Sweden's team has so far managed to keep their goal "dry".
In the current tournament, Finland continues with their trend from the last World Championship where the Finns failed to even reach the semi-finals, losing out to Sweden in the quarter-finals. From the 3 matches played in this Youth World Championship, Finland's players have bagged just one victory and suffered two defeats. If Finland's defeat to the Canadian hockey players was expected, the loss to the Germans was an upset. Finland lost to Germany 4:3, then managed to rally for the face-off with Latvia, defeating the underdog with 4 goals. Finland's players will struggle to claim victory in the closing round. If last year Finland performed on the same level as Sweden, this year's tournament hosts have pulled far ahead, not only in terms of gameplay but also exhibiting a psychological advantage thanks to their home crowd. Most likely the tournament for Finland will culminate in a defeat in the quarterfinals.
Youth teams of Switzerland and Finland have faced off in 46 official matches. Sweden has 27 victories to its name, while Finland has triumphed 19 times.
The total number of goals for the match will exceed 5.
Sweden will triumph in the normal time. The tournament hosts are in excellent form and are gunning for their first victory in a long time at the Youth World Championship. The success in the clash with Canada demonstrated that Sweden is a tournament favourite and should defeat Finland, who currently are in disarray.