The UEFA Nations League returns with its 2020-21 edition this week as Finland and Wales lock horns in an intriguing League B match at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. Both teams are in Group 4 of League B and will also have to deal with competition from Ireland and Bulgaria.
Finland has an excellent record in the UEFA Nations League and topped the C2 group in the inaugural edition of the competition. The Scandinavians have an excellent chance to build on their form and can trouble Wales in their first League B fixture.
Wales have enjoyed an excellent couple of years on the international stage but will not find it easy against an in-form Finland side. The Welsh are suffering from several injuries and will have to be at their best to get their Nations League campaign off to a successful start.
Finland vs Wales Head-to-Head
Finland and Wales have played a total of 12 games against each other and the head-to-head record is a fair indication of the fine margins between the two teams. Both Finland and Wales have managed four victories apiece and will want to get one over their opponents this week.
Finland have had the upper hand in the recent past, however, and are unbeaten against Wales in their last four games. The likes of Gareth Bale and Daniel James will have to be at their best to pull off a victory in Helsinki this week.
Finland form guide: L-W-W-L-L
Wales form guide: W-W-D-D-W
Finland vs Wales Team News
Finland have grown in prominence over the past year and have several talented stars to choose from in their squad. Markku Kanerva has a fully-fit team this week and will field his best starting 11 against Wales.
Wales will have to do without several key players against Finland this week. The likes of Aaron Ramsey, Tyler Roberts, Ashley Williams, and David Brooks have not joined the squad. Neco Williams has been called up by Ryan Giggs and is likely to feature in the starting 11.
Injured: Aaron Ramsey, Tyler Roberts, Ashley Williams, David Brooks
Finland vs Wales Predicted XI
Finland Predicted XI (4-4-2): Jesse Joronen; Jukka Raitala, Sauli Vaisanen, Leo Vaisanen, Joona Taivio; Simon Skrabb, Rasmus Schuller, Glen Kamara, Robin Lod; Joni Kauko, Teemu Pukki
Wales Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Wayne Hennessey; Ben Davies, Chris Mepham, Tom Lockyer, Neco Williams; Joe Morrell, Joe Allen; Daniel James, Harry Wilson, Gareth Bale; Kieffer Moore
Finland vs Wales Prediction
Finland have been a resurgent force in Europe and are capable of springing a surprise against Wales this week. Teemu Pukki has enjoyed an excellent season with Norwich City and will be Finland's key player going into this game.
Wales will sorely miss Aaron Ramsey's creative presence in the midfield and will have to rely heavily on the pace of Gareth Bale and Daniel James to take the initiative in the final third. Ryan Giggs has a massive task on his hands but will be confident of picking up a victory in this fixture.
Prediction: Finland 1-2 Wales