Table-toppers Belgium will face struggling Finland in the final match of the UEFA Euro 2020 group stage for both the teams.
After their exit in the World Cup from the hands of France, Roberto Martinez has improved Belgium’s quality by selecting a squad consisting of multi-talented players. Their best performance in any competitive tournament was losing a final against West Germany in 1980. ‘Golden Generation of Red Devils’ will have their goal set on beating that record in this tournament. They sure look like favorites to win the Euros as seen in their last matches against Russia and Denmark.
World’s No. 1 ranked Belgium have so far justified their rank in the tournament. They sit on top of group B and have secured their spot in the Euro 2020 Round of 16. A victory or a draw will make sure that Belgium finishes the group stage as table toppers.
This is the first time that Finland’s men team have qualified for any competitive tournament. Football pundits see Markku Kanerva’s men as the underdogs who could ruin hopes of other favorites,
Finland is unbeaten in the last 6 matches against the Red Devils. However, this term, Teemu Pukki has failed to reflect his goal-scoring form from the qualifying stages of the tournament. They will have to go into the match with do or die attitude as the victory should help them to qualify for the next round.
Belgium is unbeaten in their last 12 games and are in a deadly form. Romelu Lukaku’s explosive form and Kevin De Bruyne’s midfield brilliance is the reason for their terrific winning streak.
Belgium in last 6 matches: DWDWWW
Finland finds themselves in praying times. Been victorious in only 1 of the last 6 matches, they are not in a great from. They will have to work their way like how they managed a goal against Denmark in a 1-0 victory. They will also have to pray for their luck that Russia fails to win against Denmark.
Finland in last 6 matches: DLLLWL
Finland have still not sealed their spot, and this is a must-win game for them. Finland will go with a relatively unchanged squad for this game.
Belgium has secured a spot in the next round; Martinez could make changes in the lineup to allow fringe and recovering players some minutes on the pitch. Doing this he could also be able to rest some starting XI legs.
Injuries and Suspensions
Nikolai Alho seems to have recovered from an ankle sprain, but he may still be rested to avoid any risk. Jukka Raita has recovered and is set to start against Belgium.
Doubtful: Nikolai Alho
Wingback Timothy Castagne suffered facial fractures in the match against Russia and it was confirmed that he will have to end his campaign. Injury-hit Eden Hazard seems to have recovered well at the match level fitness.
Injured: Timothy Castagne.
Doubtful: Eden Hazard.
Possible Finland Starting XI: Hradecky; O’Shaughnessy, Arajuuri, Toivio; Uronen, Kamara, Sparv, Kauko, Raitala; Pohjanpalo, Pukki.
Possible Belgium Starting XI: Courtois; Alderweireld, Dendoncker, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Hazard; Hazard, Lukaku, Carrasco.
Finland edge over Belgium in terms of match fitness but Belgium’s individual brilliance and technical abilities of several stars is way superior to that of Finlands.
I expect Belgium to get an easy 3-1 win over their Finnish counterparts.