Finland - Northern Ireland predictions and free betting tips [17/11/2023]
On Friday 17th November, as part of Round 9 of the Euro-2024 qualifying tournament, Finland will face the national team of Northern Ireland. The hosts have already secured their place in the playoffs due to their Nations League performance, whereas the visitors have lost all chances of reaching the final part of the continental championship.
Finland: Hradecky; Väisänen, Arajuuri, Ivanov; Soiri, Kairinen, Kamara, Hakanpaa; Pukki, Kallman, Taylor.
Northern Ireland: Peacock-Farrell; Hughes, J. Evans, Ballard, Lewis; Smith, Thompson, Saville, Whyte, Ward; Magennis.
The match will take place in Helsinki at the Olympic Stadium.
In its history, Finland has taken part in only one major international tournament - Euro-2021. Currently 4th in Qualifying Group H and trailing 2nd place by 7 points, the Scandinavian team is hoping to finish within the top two. The hosts won 4 out of the first 5 matches of the current campaign but then lost their momentum, losing 3 times - to Denmark (0:1), Slovenia (3:0) and Kazakhstan (1:2). Nevertheless, matches against Northern Ireland and San Marino provide an excellent opportunity for the white-blues to regain their previous form and cheer up fans with positive results. Regardless, the Finns still retain chances of qualifying for the Euros – thanks to the Nations League playoffs.
The following players have not been called up for the Finland team: defenders Ojala (HIFK), Thomas (Odd) and Väisänen (FC Lahti), midfielder Soisalo (Zwijndrecht) and forward Eremenko (Khimi); all from local clubs. The captain is experienced goalkeeper Hradecky (Leverkusen, 89 matches), and forward Pukki (Minnesota, 38 goals in 116 matches) as always is irreplaceable in the attack. In the starting lineup on Friday, midfielders Kamara (Leeds, 56 matches) and Fredrik Jensen (Augsburg, 7 goals in 26 matches), who play in the top 5 European leagues, may appear.
Northern Ireland ranks 5th and penultimate in Group H of the Euro-2024 qualifying tournament, having scored only 6 points in 8 rounds. In the last two matches, the Brits have already lost tournament motivation, as there are no chances left to make it into the top two. In the last match, the white-burgundy team broke a string of 5 defeats in a row, defeating San Marino, which occupies the last line, with a score of 3:0. Surprisingly, five of the six defeats for the visitors were with a difference of one goal. In the remaining rounds, the Irish will face Finland and Denmark, and for the players, it is just about enjoying the game.
In March, the Finns prevailed over Northern Ireland away with a score of 0:1. However, in the previous four encounters, the Scandinavians were unable to win once.
Prediction for the match Finland – Northern Ireland
Guest coach O'Neill is eager to end a series of six consecutive defeats if you do not count the duels with dwarf San Marino. Nevertheless, taking points from Finland on its home ground will be a very difficult task. Besides, the Brits will miss experienced Evans in the defence, and overall, the hosts surpass their opponent in class and experience. My forecast – a victory for the white-blues.
Neither team is famed for excessive productivity in the course of the current campaign, each scoring on average one goal per game. I believe the scenario of the first round game will be repeated; I am placing a bet on total goals under 2.5.