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After securing a surprise qualification to Euro 2020 Finland are not looking to be mere spectators in the competition.
Group B looks there for the taking and boosted by the fitness of Norwich City forward Teemu Pukki, Markku Kanerva will be eager to put a smile on the faces of Finland’s ardent supporters back home.
However, Russia will pose a major obstacle to the Finns.
The Russians will be the home side in the tie with the game taking place in Zenit St Petersburg’s Gazprom Arena.
Over 30,000 home fans are expected to attend and it is likely to be a hostile atmosphere for Pukki and co.
Especially as Russia entered the tournament with high hopes.
Teemu Pukki is the man Finland are looking to to fire them into the knockout rounds
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Back in 2018 there were bleak sentiments around the national team prior to the World Cup, but Russia dazzled on home soil, marching all the way to the quarter finals and winning the hearts of the nation.
But their ambitions to further enhance their reputations at Euro 2020 did not get off to the best of starts, after a 3-0 defeat to Belgium on Saturday.
Russia barely laid a glove on their opponents, but now the group favourites are out of the way, they can focus on trying to reach the next stage.
Stanislav Cherchesov has selected a largely domestic based squad. There was still room for former Chelsea defender Yuri Zhirkov who is now 37 years old and is one of the oldest players at the tournament.
Aleksandr Golovin, Aleksei Miranchuk and Denys Cheryshev are all based in France, Italy and Spain respectively and will be the players to watch for Finland.
Kanerva has built a quick counter attacking Finland side, who can trouble the world’s best at times. Russia will be wary after the Finns’ 2-0 victory over world champions France towards the end of last year.
Alongside Teemu Pukki, Kanerva’s core spine include Rangers and former Arsenal midfielder Glen Kamara, as well as Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper, Lukáš Hrádecký.
Brentford’s Marcus Forss could make an impact from the bench. He was on the scoresheet in Finland’s remarkable victory over France and has picked up a good run of form in the Championship towards the end of the season.
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With both managers preferring conservative tactics the focus will be on the defenders and which team will lose concentration first.
Russia will see this as their best chance for victory in the group, as will Finland, and that could see the game opening up a bit more than expected.
The fact that defeat for Russia would leave them facing elimination, while Finland will put one foot in the last-16 with a win, all points towards a potentially thrilling contest.
Though Kannerva’s Finland are used to being the underdogs, their 5-3-2 formation will be difficult to break down for Russia.
If they can catch a slow and sluggish veteran Russian back-line, the chance for a remarkable Euro 2020 victory for Finland is on the cards.
Finland of course grabbed all three points in their opening game against Denmark, though the football quickly became of little importance following the harrowing ordeal suffered by midfielder Christian Eriksen, who has since, thankfully, got on the road to recovery.
What time is Finland vs Russia?
Finland vs Russia kicks-off at 2pm on Wednesday 16th June.
What TV channel is it on?
The game will be shown on BBC.
Fans can also tune in via BBC iPlayer on the broadcaster's website.
Finland – 24/5
Draw – 14/5
Russia – 16/25
*Odds supplied by Grosvenor Sports and are subject to change. Please gamble responsibly.
Can Teemu Pukki fire Finland to victory? Have your say below.