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Finland vs Bosnia and Herzegovina prediction, preview, team news and more | 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Euro debutants Finland begin World Cup quest against Bosnia
Euro debutants Finland begin World Cup quest against Bosnia
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Modified 22 Mar 2021
Feature

Finland begin their quest for Qatar 2022 with a home game against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium.

The Eagle-Owls made history last year by qualifying for their first-ever major tournament at Euro 2020, and now have their sights fixed on the World Cup.

With reigning world champions France, Ukraine and Kazakhstan also making up Group D, it's going to be a challenge for Markku Kanerva's side.

However, they're once again relishing their underdog tag and, having posted encouraging results lately, will feel confident of their chances.

Meanwhile, the Dragons are looking to stage a return to football's grandest stage, having qualified for the first and only time in 2014.

It was seen as a watershed moment for Bosnian football and a potential harbinger of more international success to come.

However, the Balkan outfit failed to qualify for the next three competitions, including the upcoming European Championship.

Ivaylo Petev's side lost out in the semi-finals of the playoffs to Northern Ireland on penalties, prolonging their wait for a first-ever appearance at the finals.


Finland vs Bosnia and Herzegovina Head-To-Head

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The sides have clashed only three times before. The last two encounters came recently in Euro 2020 qualifying when they were drawn in the same group.

Finland won the home leg 2-0 but lost 3-1 to Bosnia in the return.

Finland Form Guide (all competitions): W-W-W-W-L

Bosnia and Herzegovina Form Guide (all competitions): D-L-L-L-L


Finland vs Bosnia and Herzegovina Team News

Finland

Norwich City ace Teemu Pukki once again leads the squad named by Kanerva. The striker was on target in both legs against Bosnia in Euro qualifying last year.

However, some key players have missed out. Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky is currently nursing tendon problems. Meanwhile, ace striker Fredrik Jensen is out with a thigh injury.

Injured: Fredrik Jensen, Lukas Hradecky, and Jasse Tuominen

Suspended: None

Unavailable: Jere Uronen

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Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Balkan side have important players such as Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic, and Rade Krunic available for the clash.

However, veteran custodian Asmir Begovic withdrew from the squad. Edin Visca is injured and forward Armin Hodzic is recoving from COVID-19.

Injured: Edin Visca

Suspended: None

Unavailable: Asmir Begovic and Armin Hodzic


Finland vs Bosnia and Herzegovina Predicted XI

Finland (3-5-2): Niki Maenpaa; Joona Toivio, Paulus Arajuuri, Daniel O'Shaughnessy; Nikolai Alho, Rasmus Schuller, Robert Taylor, Glen Kamara, Joni Kauko; Teemu Pukki, Joel Pohjanpalo.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (4-1-4-1): Ibrahim Sehic; Josip Corluka, Dennis Hadzikadunic, Sead Kolasinac, Darko Todorovic; Gojko Cimirot; Miroslav Stevanovic, Miralem Pjanic, Amer Gojak, Rade Krunic; Edin Dzeko.


Finland vs Bosnia and Herzegovina Prediction

Finland got the better of Bosnia on their last visit to Helsinki and they enter the match as favorites.

We expect Finland to secure a narrow victory.

Prediction: Finland 2-1 Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Published 22 Mar 2021, 19:38 IST
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